The Woolwich Observer

Maryhill will get new fire hall as Woolwich council changes course

- Steve Kannon →

MARYHILL RESIDENTS COULD HAVE A new fire hall as early as later this year, or perhaps by 2023. Woolwich councillor­s this week voted to scrap tenders received to renovate the facility in favour of replacing it completely.

Having debated the issue of renovating or building new a couple of times already, councillor­s quickly opted for the replacemen­t option during a meeting Monday night. That the latest staff report indicated a new station could be built for the original $1.4 million budget rather than $1.7 million to renovate was likely a factor in the decision.

“I think that’s a wise way to spend the tax dollars. I was glad they came up with that decision,” said Maryhill district fire chief Kevin Karley in an interview Tuesday, welcoming the idea of a new station.

Firefighte­rs had some concerns about renovating the existing structure, which wouldn’t eliminate all of the problems there.

Coun. Murray Martin stressed the need for input from firefighte­rs in voting for a new building. He had been skeptical of the renovation plan.

“Will fire department staff be involved in the design and the layout of the new building?” he asked Thomas van der Hoff, manager of operations and projects.

“We will involve staff more throughout the process. We have already sat down at the table and looked at some designs that are likely to be replicated and submitted for this project ,” van der Hoff responded.

Having toured the new fire station in St. Clements, built in 2019 at a cost of $1.3 million, Maryhill firefighte­rs had seen the facility as a good fit for their needs.

Depending on how quickly the project could be put out to tender and

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