The Dashwood Fire Department is building a new fire hall. (PQB News file photo)

The Dashwood Fire Department is building a new fire hall. (PQB News file photo)

Regional District of Nanaimo: Dashwood fire hall building costs rise to $6.3 million

Progress of project was interrupted and temporarily shelved due to COVID-19

The cost to build a new fire hall for the Dashwood Fire Department has gone up.

The major project was successfully endorsed by Regional District of Nanaimo Electoral Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood), Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum, Englishman River) and Electoral Area H (Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay) communities in 2019 through an alternative approval process that authorized the borrowing of $4,000,000 to pay for the $4,150,000 cost. That includes $150,000 from the Dashwood reserves for the temporary building needed to accommodate the department during construction phase.

Since then the price tag has gone up to $6,313,967. To make up for the shortfall of $2,094,967, RDN staff has recommended drawing from Community Works Funds now that fire hall constructions qualify under the provincial guidelines.

READ MORE: Dashwood approves $4 million fire hall

The progress of the project was interrupted and was temporarily shelved due to COVID-19.

Staff, at the electoral areas services committee meeting on Nov. 18, recommended Area F allocate from its CWF $222,067, Area G $1,185,751, and $687,149 from Area H.

Area F and Area G directors, respectively, Leanne Salter and Lehann Wallace agreed to increase the budget for the project but declined to endorse the CWF recommendation. They suggested staff to look for another alternative.

A motion was made to refer the motion back to staff.

Area H director Stuart McLean had asked staff not to wait until next year to provide an alternative solution due to the escalating cost of the project. He requested staff present a report at the next RDN board meeting on Dec. 7.

Council approved.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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