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 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.

The next step, once Provincial approval has been obtained, would be to seek elector approval, which can be done through an alternative approval process (AAP).

An alternative approval process (formerly known as a counter-petition process) is a form

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 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.

The next step, once Provincial approval has been obtained, would be to seek elector approval, which can be done through an alternative approval process (AAP).

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

  • Ask a question about the project or the process
  • If an Alternative Approval Process is initiated, information on this process and how you can participate will be posted here, in local newspapers, and on social media (@NorthCowichan).

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 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 the 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 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.

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Page last updated: 11 Apr 2022, 12:39 PM