Qualicum Beach Fire Department need space to accommodate its new aerial platform apparatus that will be delivered this coming summer.
And they’re looking at the bay at the Rupert Road fire station that is currently occupied by the refurbished Engine 2 fire truck that was donated back to the town in the summer of 2022.
The department needs that space to protect frontline apparatus and began looking for a permanent place to house Engine 2.
Engine 2 served the town from 1962 to 1990 and was refurbished by a collector, who sold it to the town for $6,000. The money to purchase the historical fire truck was raised through a Community Initiative GoFundMe program.
The fire chief, Peter Cornell, informed council that if Engine 2 is stored outside during summer or winter, its mechanical systems and exterior finishes will likely deteriorate.
Cornell reported two storage options for council to consider. One is to modify the storage building adjacent to the Berwick Water Reservoir at a one-time cost of $5,000 or rent a commercial storage unit at an annual cost of $3,600. The former will not have monthly fees but will not be temperature controlled. The latter will provide a secure and dry environment with reasonable temperature control but the town will have to pay monthly rental fees and the truck will need to be driven back to town for public events.
Initially, staff recommended council allocate up to $20,000 in the 2023 budget to cover repairs and acquisition of storage space for Engine 2 and also include $3,000 annually for maintenance and display of Engine 2. But council deferred that decision at its Jan. 18 meeting.
Town council at its regular meeting on Feb. 8 voted unanimously to modify the Berwick Road storage building, within the current budgets of the Qualicum Beach Fire Department and the Department of Operations to a maximum of $5,000. The building will be the temporary home for Engine 2 until such time as council can gather feedback from the community on possible donations to offset the cost of ongoing display and required repairs.