The cost to build a new fire hall for the Dashwood Fire Department has gone up.
The major project was successfully endorsed by Regional District of Nanaimo Electoral Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood), Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum, Englishman River) and Electoral Area H (Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay) communities in 2019 through an alternative approval process that authorized the borrowing of $4,000,000 to pay for the $4,150,000 cost. That includes $150,000 from the Dashwood reserves for the temporary building needed to accommodate the department during construction phase.
Since then the price tag has gone up to $6,313,967. To make up for the shortfall of $2,094,967, RDN staff has recommended drawing from Community Works Funds now that fire hall constructions qualify under the provincial guidelines.
The progress of the project was interrupted and was temporarily shelved due to COVID-19.
Staff, at the electoral areas services committee meeting on Nov. 18, recommended Area F allocate from its CWF $222,067, Area G $1,185,751, and $687,149 from Area H.
Area F and Area G directors, respectively, Leanne Salter and Lehann Wallace agreed to increase the budget for the project but declined to endorse the CWF recommendation. They suggested staff to look for another alternative.
A motion was made to refer the motion back to staff.
Area H director Stuart McLean had asked staff not to wait until next year to provide an alternative solution due to the escalating cost of the project. He requested staff present a report at the next RDN board meeting on Dec. 7.