Construction of the proposed Mount Washington fire hall has had a setback.
Information obtained by Black Press states geo-technical difficulties with the original site have forced the Comox Valley Regional District to consider other options. The CVRD is now working to resolve the issue. Staff will report back to the board on options at a later date.
“Because we have to (consider) post-disaster, it was determined that there are going to be significant costs to make that lot suitable, so we are just looking at options right now,” said Oyster River Fire Chief Bruce Green, who also serves as the CVRD manager of fire services.
Mother Nature will play a role in the length of the delay.
“Our intent is to start building this year, but with the amount of snow that is up there now, it’s making things more challenging,” said Green. “That’s the whole thing with the mountain – the weather dictates what we can and cannot do. We got reports back that caused some concerns, so once the snow melts, we will look at those and determine what the delay is going to be.”
There is no expectation of significant cost changes as a result of the site problems, although staff have developed a smaller building design as a contingency. Design and cost estimates for the construction of a fire hall along with the purchase of equipment and project management costs are estimated to be $2.5 million.
“We’ve got two designs ready to go; we just have to make sure the geo-technical issues have been resolved,” said Green. “But we can’t do any of that until the snow melts. So hopefully the snow disappears quickly and we can get at this.”
Green said the fire hall construction setback will not create any service interruption.
“Any setback is a disappointment but at the end of the day, we are still providing the service up there. We have eight members that are on the mountain responding. So the response is not changing, it’s just that the hall will be delayed. But that’s the most important thing – the response is still there.”