The long-term future of Lantzville’s fire hall is a bit hazy.
During a committee of the whole meeting on Monday, following a presentation the District of Lantzville’s proposed 2019-2023 financial plan, questions were raised about the long-term plan for the district’s only fire station.
Lantzville’s fire hall is located on the corner of Superior Road and Highway 19, on leased property from the provincial government.
According to the district’s financial plan, $100,000 has been allocated for improvements to the fire hall, which include a new kitchen and additional office equipment.
However, Coun. Will Geselbracht wondered what the long-term plans were for the fire hall, saying it was his understanding that the district once tried to buy the land from the province but failed.
“Are we going to make another attempt to pick that up rather than spending more money on a leased piece of property that may not be ours in the future and may motivate us to acquire lands in the district to build a new fire hall?” he asked.
Ronald Campbell, the district’s chief administrative officer, said the fire hall land has a lease term of 30 years and will expire in 2032.
“It is an issue having a fire department on somebody else’s land and there is no question we are going to make another attempt with the ministry,” he said.
Campbell said he isn’t sure what the province’s plans for the property are anymore, adding that it may still want to install a cloverleaf interchange at the Superior Road and Highway 19 intersection. He said if the province doesn’t want to sell the property to the district, Lantzville will need to find an alternative location for a fire hall.
“If we are unsuccessful, we should definitely in our long-term planning be finding a piece of land that we can put our own fire hall on,” he said.
Speaking to the News Bulletin afterwards, Campbell said he doesn’t know when he will begin discussions with the provincial government about the land, explaining that he needs to discuss the matter more with Lantzville fire chief Neil Rukus.
“We need to get all of our ducks in a row,” Campbell said. “Our intention would be to go to the province and re-open that issue to see if anything has changed in their world where they can see forward enough that they don’t need that land or they do need that land.”
Campbell said it is his understanding that the last time Lantzville brought the idea up with the province, the municipality was soundly rejected.
Lantzville councillors are working their way through the 2019-2023 financial plan, which they anticipate adopting by mid-December. Monday’s meeting was the first meeting with the newly elected council to take place in council chambers at Lantzville District Hall.
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