An artist’s rendering of the new fire hall and ambulance station for the Town of Creston, which announced the purchase of land on Jan. 14, 2020. (Town of Creston)

Town of Creston purchases land for new fire hall

Referendum in October 2018 approved borrowing maximum $4.5M for Creston emergency services building

A new fire hall for the Town of Creston is closer to becoming a reality with the purchase of land on Cook Street, an achievement made public by the town on Jan. 14.

The 2.14-acre parcel is located next to Pealow’s — Your Independent Grocer and was purchased for $375,000 from Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, an entity of Loblaw Companies.

“We are so excited to be able to announce the purchase of this property for our new emergency services facility”, said Mayor Ron Toyota. “We appreciate the willingness of Choice Properties to work with us, and the fact that we were able to purchase this land for less than two-thirds of the amount that was budgeted is a significant accomplishment.”

Town council identified the need for a new fire hall in 2014. Johnston and Davidson Architecture conducted test siting and preliminary program studies in 2016, and eight different sites were evaluated, including the current fire hall, and narrowed to four potential sites. In 2018, the Community Fire Hall Advisory Committee reviewed the previous options and recommended the Cook Street site as the preferred site based on site size, centralized location to maintain response times, geotechnical and site development considerations and costs, and other associated factors.

“The Cook Street site is the optimal site for a new emergency services facility,” said CAO Mike Moore. “Not only does it already have water and sewer connections, we know from the previous professional siting studies that it is geo-technically sound, has a solid base for construction and does not have environmental concerns as other sites may have due to past practices.

“In addition, the Cook Street site is centrally located for response times and is large enough to allow for future growth of the department — not to mention the ability to include other emergency service partners such as BC Ambulance.”

The Technical Building Advisory Committee, comprised of a mix of community members with technical credentials, advisory committee members, representation from Creston Fire Rescue, BC Emergency Health Services and Regional District of Central Kootenay areas B and C, has continued to work on this project in collaboration with the town and Johnston Davidson Architecture. The working drawings for the new Creston emergency services building are currently at approximately 75 per cent completion.

In an October 2018 referendum, the town received voter permission to borrow a maximum of $4.5 million for the construction of a new fire hall, with votes totaling 1,301-885 following a judicial recount. A previous referendum, held in December 2017, that proposed borrowing over $6 million was defeated 1,209-825.

A request for information and qualifications for general contractors was issued in October 2019, with a tender date expected in March 2020.

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