Qualicum Beach has secured a better source of funding for the new fire hall with a grant and lower cost loan from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund.
The town received a $464,467 grant from the municipal green improvement fun and will borrow $4.64 million at a lower interest rate than the previous plan.
The town had applied for and was waiting to hear about the grant portion, but the borrowing was a new element.
“Our government is helping municipalities across the country to achieve their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for their citizens through the Green Municipal Fund,” said John Duncan, Minister of State at a presentation at the new hall site in Qualicum Beach on Tuesday.
“The financing and knowledge provided by the fund support the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable,” said Brad Woodside, FCM president and mayor of Fredericton who was also on hand.
Speakers praised the town’s forward thinking in developing the hall as what they have called the most environmentally friendly fire hall in the country complete with a solar wall, photovoltaic panel, LED lighting, in-floor heating, lots of windows to decrease light use and as much local and reused material as possible.
They highlighted the heat exchange system using the neighbouring well field and a heat recovery ventilation system.
“Building quality infrastructure, inviting community participation and being a leader in protecting the environment are important goals for the town,” said mayor Teunis Westbroek, who said that while they are planning for the building to last at least 50 years, he thinks it will last 100.
More details on the financing will be available after town council receives the formal documentation at an upcoming meeting.
The new hall, at 130 Rupert Road, near the roundabout, is on schedule for completion in the early fall. The old station downtown will be decommissioned shortly after and the town is embarking on a public process to decide what to do with it.