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Clarenville moving forward with plans for new fire hall

A graphic by Fougere-Menchenton representing what the new fire hall could look like.
A graphic by Fougere-Menchenton representing what the new fire hall could look like. - Image courtesy of Town of Clarenville

Plans completed, site chosen and funding application ready

CLARENVILLE, NL – With a concept plan completed, a site chosen and a funding application ready, the Town of Clarenville is moving ahead with plans to build a new fire hall.

At the council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5, council approved a motion to submit a funding application to government to help with the $3-million cost to build a new fire hall.

A concept plan by Fougere-Menchenton details a six-truck, drive-in, drive-out bay facility planned for town-owned land behind Walmart on O’Mahony Drive.

Chief administrative officer David Harris says after working in consultation with the firefighters, the need was identified for a minimum of five trucks for the town. A six-truck facility will allow room for growth for either more town vehicles or a regional fire department.

“All of the amenities in the building are taken directly from municipal affairs and their allotted spaces … for fire stations moving forward,” said Harris at the meeting.

Harris says the site behind Walmart was chosen because it’s centrally located and allows downhill access to both Clarenville and Shoal Harbour. Also, he says, if O’Mahony Drive becomes a connection to the Trans-Canada Highway, it will be beneficial to have the fire department in close proximity to the TCH.

The town’s original motion to start planning for a new fire hall began last fall. This would move the existing Clarenville Fire Department of 36 firefighters out of the town hall building on Pleasant Street and into a new location.

Harris says the motion council approved was to apply to government for funding assistance, which would be under the 60-40 per cent cost-share split for municipal capital works.

“It’s a beautiful-looking concept,” remarked Mayor Frazer Russell. “On several occasions … I have spoken to our MHA (Colin Holloway) about the need in the new year to meet with him and Municipal Affairs Minister (Eddie) Joyce, because we really need to get this on the list.”

Russell says since Municipal Affairs approves a set number of fire departments for funding each year, he thinks the sooner they can get in contact, the better chance they have of getting on the list of funding recipients, potentially in 2018.

“I feel like it’s a real move in the right direction,” he adds. “We have outgrown our fire department and looking down the road, we’re not sure of where regional fire services are going to come. That’s another unknown that will have to be introduced into any discussion on the provision of provincial money for this.”

The motion to approve the application to seek provincial funding was approved unanimously.

Twitter: @jejparsons

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