An artist’s rendering of the new Town of Creston fire hall.

The Town of Creston another step closer to a new fire hall with the purchase of land from Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, an entity of Loblaw Companies.

The 2.14 acre parcel of land is located on Cook Street, immediately adjacent to Pealow’s Independent Grocery store and was purchased for $375,000.

“We are so excited to be able to announce the purchase of this property for our new emergency services facility,” said Mayor Ron Toyota. “We appreciate the willingness of Choice Properties to work with us and the fact that we were able to purchase this land for less than two thirds of the amount that was budgeted, is a significant accomplishment.”

Town Council identified the need for a new fire hall in 2014. Test siting and preliminary program studies were done by Johnston and Davidson Architecture in 2016 and at that time, eight different sites were evaluated, including the current fire hall, and narrowed to four potential sites.

In 2018, the Community Fire Hall Advisory Committee (ASC) reviewed the previous options and recommended the Cook Street site as the preferred site based on site size, centralized location to maintain response times, geotechnical and site development considerations and costs, and other associated factors.

“The Cook Street site is the optimal site for a new emergency services facility”, said Mike Moore, Chief Administrative Officer. “Not only does it already have water and sewer connections, we know from the previous professional siting studies that it is geo-technically sound, has a solid base for construction and does not have environmental concerns as other sites may have due to past practices. In addition, the Cook Street site is centrally located for response times and is large enough to allow for future growth of the department – not to mention the ability to include other emergency service partners such as BC Ambulance.”

The Technical Building Advisory Committee (TBAC) comprised of a mix of community members with technical credentials, ASC members, representation from Creston Fire Rescue, BC Emergency Health Services and Electoral Areas ‘B’ and ‘C’ has continued to work on this project in collaboration with the Town of Creston and Johnston Davidson Architecture.

The working drawings for the new Creston Emergency Services Building are currently at approximately 75% completion.

The Town of Creston received voter permission in October 2018 to borrow a maximum of $4.5 million for the construction of a new fire hall. A Request for Information & Qualifications (RFIQ) for general contractors was issued in October 2019, with a tender date expected in March 2020.

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