Crofton Fire Hall

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The Crofton Fire Hall is in need of replacement and North Cowichan Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to replace the fire hall on the same property. This would require long-term capital borrowing of $4.8 million to finance the construction, through a loan authorization bylaw. That bylaw must receive approval by the Province and North Cowichan voters before it can be adopted.

Elector approval, through an alternative approval process (AAP), is open from July 22 (8 am) to August 22 (4 pm), 2022.

An alternative approval process (formerly known as a counter-petition process) is a form of approval without having to go to assent voting (referendum).

How to have your say

  • If you support the loan authorization bylaw (up to $4.8 million to fund the construction of a replacement fire hall in Crofton), you do not need to do anything.
  • If you do NOT support the loan authorization bylaw, complete the Elector Response Form and submit it by August 22, 2022 (details below)

About the North Cowichan Fire Department

  • The Fire Department serves the municipality, as well as Quw'utsun, Halalt, Penelakut, Stz'uminus, and Lyackson First Nations from four fire halls: Chemainus, Maple Bay, South End, and Crofton.
  • It is BC’s largest paid on-call fire department, with 113 members.

About the Crofton Fire Hall

  • The existing fire hall in Crofton was constructed in 1964. A second floor addition was added sometime later, and the apparatus bays were built in 2002.
  • A number of assessments and studies have been conducted in order to identify deficiencies and recommend long-term options for the fire hall. This includes a 2018 Facility Condition Assessment, a 2019 detailed Seismic Assessment, and a 2019 Load Rating Study for the second floor.
  • The assessments and studies conclude that the existing fire hall is in immediate need of seismic upgrades and urgent repairs, and given the cost of these repairs, it is recommended the fire hall be demolished and rebuilt in its current location.
  • The second floor was closed to all use in 2019 following the load rating study as it was deemed unsafe. Replacing second floor joists could address the load bearing issues, however seismic issues would still need to be addressed.
  • The newer apparatus bays, built in 2002, are not in need of repairs.

About the new fire hall

The new proposed fire hall building would be approximately 3,600 square feet (by comparison, the existing fire hall is 7,200 square feet) and includes training and administration space for the paid on-call members and the station chief, as well as dedicated storage space for equipment, gear, and electronics.

  • Members of North Cowichan's Crofton fire hall have been without adequate training space since 2019 when the second floor was closed due to load bearing issues. Weekly training, as well as space to gather after significant fires or call-out events, is crucial for members. Expensive technical gear also requires specialized storage space in order to prevent damage and prolong equipment life.
  • Fire halls are an important community asset, in addition to serving the needs of the fire department.
  • Renovating would likely cost far more than building a new fire hall as seismic upgrades, required to be built to post-disaster specifications, can be very costly, especially for a 58-year-old structure.
  • The existing apparatus bays, built in 2002, would not be impacted by the fire hall demolition and rebuilding.
  • The new fire hall is expected to serve our community’s needs for 50 years.

Finances & Alternative Approval Process

Council has directed staff to undertake an alternative approval process (AAP) to seek elector approval to borrow the funds to construct the fire hall. .

  • A new fire hall in Crofton will cost around $4.8 million to construct. This money will be borrowed through the Municipal Finance Authority and repaid over 20 years.
  • The total cumulative cost to the average homeowner over the duration of the loan will be about $340 ($17 per year).
  • Under an AAP, if 10% of the eligible electors (2,868 or more of the 28,684 eligible voters) who submit a response form by the deadline set by Council, North Cowichan must seek approval through assent voting (referendum). If that were to happen, a question asking voters if the approve adoption of the loan authorization bylaw would be included on the ballot for the 2022 general local election being held this October.
  • For more information about the Alternative Approval Process, visit northcowichan.ca

Submitting a response form

If you do not support the loan authorization bylaw, beginning on July 22, complete and submit an Elector Response Form and return it to the Municipality of North Cowichan by 4pm on Monday, August 22, 2022 by one of these methods:

If you submitted an elector response form and have changed your mind and would like to withdraw it, you can do so by contacting the Corporate Officer before the close of the AAP (4pm on August 22, 2022).

The Crofton Fire Hall is in need of replacement and North Cowichan Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to replace the fire hall on the same property. This would require long-term capital borrowing of $4.8 million to finance the construction, through a loan authorization bylaw. That bylaw must receive approval by the Province and North Cowichan voters before it can be adopted.

Elector approval, through an alternative approval process (AAP), is open from July 22 (8 am) to August 22 (4 pm), 2022.

An alternative approval process (formerly known as a counter-petition process) is a form of approval without having to go to assent voting (referendum).

How to have your say

  • If you support the loan authorization bylaw (up to $4.8 million to fund the construction of a replacement fire hall in Crofton), you do not need to do anything.
  • If you do NOT support the loan authorization bylaw, complete the Elector Response Form and submit it by August 22, 2022 (details below)

About the North Cowichan Fire Department

  • The Fire Department serves the municipality, as well as Quw'utsun, Halalt, Penelakut, Stz'uminus, and Lyackson First Nations from four fire halls: Chemainus, Maple Bay, South End, and Crofton.
  • It is BC’s largest paid on-call fire department, with 113 members.

About the Crofton Fire Hall

  • The existing fire hall in Crofton was constructed in 1964. A second floor addition was added sometime later, and the apparatus bays were built in 2002.
  • A number of assessments and studies have been conducted in order to identify deficiencies and recommend long-term options for the fire hall. This includes a 2018 Facility Condition Assessment, a 2019 detailed Seismic Assessment, and a 2019 Load Rating Study for the second floor.
  • The assessments and studies conclude that the existing fire hall is in immediate need of seismic upgrades and urgent repairs, and given the cost of these repairs, it is recommended the fire hall be demolished and rebuilt in its current location.
  • The second floor was closed to all use in 2019 following the load rating study as it was deemed unsafe. Replacing second floor joists could address the load bearing issues, however seismic issues would still need to be addressed.
  • The newer apparatus bays, built in 2002, are not in need of repairs.

About the new fire hall

The new proposed fire hall building would be approximately 3,600 square feet (by comparison, the existing fire hall is 7,200 square feet) and includes training and administration space for the paid on-call members and the station chief, as well as dedicated storage space for equipment, gear, and electronics.

  • Members of North Cowichan's Crofton fire hall have been without adequate training space since 2019 when the second floor was closed due to load bearing issues. Weekly training, as well as space to gather after significant fires or call-out events, is crucial for members. Expensive technical gear also requires specialized storage space in order to prevent damage and prolong equipment life.
  • Fire halls are an important community asset, in addition to serving the needs of the fire department.
  • Renovating would likely cost far more than building a new fire hall as seismic upgrades, required to be built to post-disaster specifications, can be very costly, especially for a 58-year-old structure.
  • The existing apparatus bays, built in 2002, would not be impacted by the fire hall demolition and rebuilding.
  • The new fire hall is expected to serve our community’s needs for 50 years.

Finances & Alternative Approval Process

Council has directed staff to undertake an alternative approval process (AAP) to seek elector approval to borrow the funds to construct the fire hall. .

  • A new fire hall in Crofton will cost around $4.8 million to construct. This money will be borrowed through the Municipal Finance Authority and repaid over 20 years.
  • The total cumulative cost to the average homeowner over the duration of the loan will be about $340 ($17 per year).
  • Under an AAP, if 10% of the eligible electors (2,868 or more of the 28,684 eligible voters) who submit a response form by the deadline set by Council, North Cowichan must seek approval through assent voting (referendum). If that were to happen, a question asking voters if the approve adoption of the loan authorization bylaw would be included on the ballot for the 2022 general local election being held this October.
  • For more information about the Alternative Approval Process, visit northcowichan.ca

Submitting a response form

If you do not support the loan authorization bylaw, beginning on July 22, complete and submit an Elector Response Form and return it to the Municipality of North Cowichan by 4pm on Monday, August 22, 2022 by one of these methods:

If you submitted an elector response form and have changed your mind and would like to withdraw it, you can do so by contacting the Corporate Officer before the close of the AAP (4pm on August 22, 2022).

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    For those who don’t know, can you explain the difference between an AAP versus a normal approval process, and why it’s doing that route?

    ConnectAdmin asked 4 days ago

    There are two ways to gain approval of electors: assent voting (referendum) and alternative approval process (AAP). Council approved an AAP for this project, to take place ahead of this fall’s general local election so that, if approved, tendering the project can occur sooner for a more favourable construction timeline/season. Additionally, if 10% or more of electors submit forms during the AAP, Council could decide to add the assent voting question to the ballot at the October general local election. Pairing an assent voting question during a general local election can save staff time and resources rather than conducting a separate vote.

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    Would the old hall be sold ( interested)

    Richard Rankin asked 5 days ago

    The fire hall will be demolished and the new fire hall constructed in its place. As such, the current fire hall would not be available for purchase.

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    With population growth in the area, why would the new building be smaller than the existing building? Article states: "The new proposed fire hall building would be approximately 3,600 square feet (by comparison, the existing fire hall is 7,200 square feet)".

    A. asked 12 days ago

    As part of the preliminary design of the new fire hall building, an analysis of the site was completed to determine the necessary space required including future needs. In 2002, an annex building (the apparatus bays) was constructed on the property to house the fire trucks and related equipment. This building replaced the existing space for the fire trucks in the original building. Now that the original building is being removed and replaced, the size can be reduced as it does not need to house the fire trucks. The apparatus bays built in 2002 are not in need of repairs, and are not included in the replacement of the hall.  

Page last updated: 05 Aug 2022, 09:11 AM