‘It’s really a frustration for us’
Hantsport,” said Brad Carrigan, the director of public works for West Hants.
“The building has been run into a couple time due to a lack of space so there is a safety issue.”
The brick chimney, located in the garage, is separating from the building and has been secured to the structure using a chain and bolts.
In addition, there are heating, electrical and lighting issues listed for several of the buildings.
Carrigan noted the department has held off on doing any upgrades in 2018 while the latest report was being compiled.
Hantsport resident and Coun. Robbie Zwicker said he was in favour of moving forward with the combined project as soon as possible.
“I think we’re definitely due to have something in Hantsport,” said Zwicker, who served as the mayor prior to the town dissolving its charter and joining West Hants in 2015.
“I think we all should remember, around this table especially, if it wasn’t for the Hantsport Fire Department we would likely still be under the heel of the Windsor Fire Department,” he said. “They gave us a tremendous boost when we consolidated (fire services).”
In 2015, West Hants council severed ties with the Windsor Fire Department to create its own firefighting force, relying on Brooklyn and Hantsport volunteer fire departments to carry the load previously covered by Windsor. Since that decision, several million dollars has been spent, with about $1.5 million being put towards a substation in Three Mile Plains.
The cost for constructing a new combined building in Hantsport is estimated to be $3,405,600. The report notes that the existing public works compound would be a suitable location for the combined project.
West Hants’ chief administrative officer Martin Laycock told councillors at the most recent committee of the whole meeting that about 25 per cent of the cost for the fire station portion would come from Kings County, due to the sharing of fire services. Additional financial aid could be sought from Glooscap First Nation, which also benefits from the Hantsport Fire Department’s service.
During the meeting, some councillors asked questions, some expressed a desire to wait until after a fire services co-ordinator is appointed, and some wanted to know what impact the municipality’s pending consolidation with the Town of Windsor would have on the project.
“Right now, as we approach consolidation, I wonder about the Town of Windsor, I guess, and how we can make sure we synergize everything imaginable,” said Coun. Tanya Leopold.
No motions were recommended in regard to the construction of a new public works/fire station building. There was discussion that council would revisit the issue closer to the next budget.
Hantsport deputy fire chief Paul Maynard discusses the tight quarters in the fire bay. The firefighters recently relocated their bunker gear, which was previously located in the main bay behind the fire trucks, to make it safer for firefighters responding to calls.