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Regional review uncertainty puts hold on fire services

Posted July 8, 2019

Seven capital projects with combined approved budgets of $8.4 million are recommended to be put on hold pending the outcome of the provincial government's regional review.

Construction of New Tecumseth Fire Station 4 on the 14th Line is the largest expenditure at $5.5 million, as well the fire vehicles to equip it, followed by the expansion of Fire Station 3 at about $1.7 million.

The planning process for the Beeton arena replacement is also on the deferral list beyond its current allocation to complete a feasibility study and business plan.

In April, councillors voted to defer any further action on the proposed new administration centre, then directed staff to flesh out other projects which could be impacted by results of the review. At the time, deputy mayor Richard Norcross told council the County was hearing indications that the provincial government was considering merging fire services to as few as four.

"Since it would appear as though the Fire Service delivery model within the County could be impacted by the Regional Government review these two projects were brought forward for consideration. Both of these projects have multi year capital funding and have clear break points between Design and Construction activities," according to the report to council on tonight's agenda. "During our review of these projects it was determined that the Design phase should proceed to completion as the service level need will not change under any scenario, and Fire Station 4 design had already been awarded to Alaimo Architect Inc. The current work plan for Fire Station #3 has the RFP for design services anticipated as being issued to the market in Q3 2019. With these factors taken into considerations staff are recommending that the Construction Phase for both of these projects be placed on hold until such time that the Regional Government Review outcomes are known."

The recommendations include maintaining the budget allocations, but not to spend them until the results are known.

"The remaining approved new and carry forward capital projects included in the Town's Business Plan are necessary for asset preservation and replacement or to accommodate growth demands which are not anticipated to be impacted by the Regional Government Review."

All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri