The Nanoose Bay Fire Protection Society is hosting an open house this Saturday (March 19) giving residents a chance to view the current fire hall before a referendum decides its fate later this month.
Regional District of Nanaimo electors within Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay), and portions of Electoral Area F (Peterson Road area) and Electoral Area G (Rivers Edge development area), will be asked on March 26 if they are in favour of borrowing $3.2 million to tear down the current fire hall and construct a new one.
George Holme, Area E director, said although the amount of money needed may sway some resident’s votes, ultimately the current hall isn’t up to snuff and wouldn’t stand up in the case of an earthquake.
“It’s a seismic upgrade,” he said. “After what was in the news today [about the earthquake in Japan] I think it is very important.”
If approved, the new hall would use earthquake resistant structural material and meet post-disaster requirements of the B.C. building code. It would have improved space for training and equipment storage and use energy efficient heating and cooling with water source heat pumps, reducing emissions of the current system by 95 per cent.
Property taxes for residents would be increased by an estimated $13.70 a year based on $100,000 of property value.
Holme said if the new hall doesn’t get the green light, he’s not sure what action the RDN board would take next.
The open house at the Nanoose Bay Fire Hall happens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. .
For more information about the referendum, please visit www.rdn.bc.ca.