Fire Hall Advisory Select Committee
When a referendum to borrow funds for a new Fire Hall was defeated in December 2017, the Town of Creston appointed a community select committee to consider the Fire Hall project.
The Community Fire Hall Advisory Select Committee (ASC) was formed in February 2018 to make recommendations to Town Council on the future of Creston’s Fire Hall and associated fire protection services. ASC volunteers were selected through an application process that represented a broad range of community interests and experience. Of 24 applications received, 11 Creston Valley volunteers were selected and a youth representative invited to participate.
After four months of presentations, discussions, and document and policy review, the ASC developed a primary recommendation, namely: that the Town hold a referendum to seek voter permission to borrow up to a maximum of $4.5 million to build a new Fire Hall, with the Town’s share approximately $2.95 million. Of the remaining share, the RDCK will be responsible for $1.55 million. In addition, the Town of Creston will direct $1 million in savings from its Reserve Funds, to be used only as needed. The total sum includes funds for design, site development, contingencies, and land.
This overarching recommendation was based upon earlier conclusions made by the ASC as it studied the Fire Hall project, namely that:
- A new Fire Hall is needed, as the existing structure no longer complies with current legislation or industry standards.
- The new Fire Hall should be approximately 14,000 square feet based on a review of technical space requirements.
- The amount for borrowing for the project should be set at a maximum of $350 per square foot based on the Altus Group Construction Cost Guide, the Canadian real estate industry's leading guide to development project costing.
- Any decisions or investments in building design or use of construction materials should only be made after the Town has received voter permission to borrow the funds to proceed.
- The new fire hall should be built at the best possible price.
ASC Guiding Principles
- Budget certainty for building the new Fire Hall will be achieved through rigorous planning and project management.
- The building will meet current Creston Fire Rescue service level requirements, and can be expanded to meet future needs.
- An evaluation exploring all possible alternate funding sources, grants, and opportunities to reduce the burden on taxpayers will be undertaken.
- Proven technologies will be explored and evaluated through an Energy Modeling process to achieve a balance between energy efficiency and cost effectiveness for the construction of a new Fire Hall.
- The following design principles are recommended:
- A Fire Hall that is comfortable in its environment
- A Fire Hall that is modern and fits the community
- A Fire Hall that is functional and adaptable
- A Fire Hall that will fit with the Regional District contracted service areas, automatic aid agreement, and a future regional fire service
What We Know
The Advisory Select Committee (ASC) has reviewed technical reports and presentations to consider necessary provincial legislation, regulation, service levels, and industry standards.
The ASC agrees that:
- Providing safe, sustainable, and cost-effective fire protection is one of the key public safety services the Town provides.
- Fire protection services help retain citizens and businesses, and increase community attraction.
- The BC Building Code is more stringent that similar regulation in most other provinces.
- An architect is required by both legislation and the BC Building Code to design, develop, and construct a Fire Hall.
- Regulations require decontamination processes of equipment and firefighters, which has spatial implications.
Additional ASC Information
- Introduction: 00.00 to 00.47
- Background of 2017 Fire Hall Referendum: 00.48 to 03:05
- Four conversations about the Fire Hall: 03:06 to 05:26
- Fire Hall Process to Date and the Advisory Select Committee: 05:27 to 10:42
- What goes into a Fire Hall? 10:43 to 15:20
- Station comparisons and Fire Hall size: 15:21 to 18:00
- Where does the Fire Hall need to go? 18:01 to 26:09
- How much is the Fire Hall going to cost? 26:10 to 31:07
- What goes into a Fire Station? 31:08 to 33:50
- How do we move forward? 33:51 to 37:05
- Where do we go from here? 37:06 to 39:11