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Construction under way for new fire hall, paramedic facility


Taskforce Paul Goodings, Division 1 Commander Rob Manlow, Deputy Chief of Operations, Paramedic Services, Carl Bowker, PEC Fire Chief Scott Manlow, Mayor Robert Quaiff, Commissioner Susan Turnbull, MHPM Project Manager Martha Juarez, Taskforce Rick Kulker and CKA Representative Todd Colbourne.

The ceremonial shovel and the construction shovel broke ground Wednesday morning for Picton’s new fire hall and paramedic facility at 8 McDonald Drive, in the Industrial Park.

ground-break-shovel“This is a significant day five years in the planning,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff. “The number of hours and amount of dialogue is truly significant,” adding thanks is due to Fire Chief Scott Manlow and the working committee as part of five years of work on the County’s Master Fire Plan.

In about 10 months, the new facility will replace the current Picton Fire Station on Ross Street, the fire station located at Loch Sloy, and the current leased ambulance base located on MacSteven Drive.

Fire Chief Scott Manlow said the current Picton station does not adequately accommodate the fire department’s vehicles, provide sufficient training or office space, does not meet accessibility standards, or offer an appropriate customer service area.

The new 17,319 square-foot facility will house four double bays for fire services and two double bays for paramedic services, along with administration offices for the fire department, paramedic services and 911 dispatch.

Manlow explained that housing both fire and paramedic services under the same roof will further savings while also providing a physical link between the complementary emergency services.

The construction of the new facility, with a tender price of $3,554,470 plus HST, is being constructed by Taskforce Engineering Inc., in consultation with Colbourne & Kembel Architects Inc., and overseen by MHPM Project Management.

“This new facility will provide a functional and safe environment for both firefighters and paramedics to prepare for and deliver emergency services to the County for many years to come,” said Manlow.

Construction is expected to be complete by the fall of 2016.

Acting CAO James Hepburn, Division 1 Commander Rob Manlow, Councillor Lenny Epstein, Councillor Barry Turpin, Deputy Chief of Operations, Paramedic Services, Carl Bowker; PEC Fire Chief Scott Manlow, Mayor Robert Quaiff, Commissioner Susan Turnbull, Councillor Kevin Gale, Councillor Gordon Fox, Councillor Jim Dunlop and Councillor Roy Pennell.

Acting CAO James Hepburn, Division 1 Commander Rob Manlow, Councillor Lenny Epstein, Councillor Barry Turpin, Deputy Chief of Operations, Paramedic Services, Carl Bowker; PEC Fire Chief Scott Manlow, Mayor Robert Quaiff, Commissioner Susan Turnbull, Councillor Kevin Gale, Councillor Gordon Fox, Councillor Jim Dunlop and Councillor Roy Pennell.

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  1. Marnie says:

    Those arenas are not big money makers. The cost of maintaining them and paying salaries to run them probably gobbles up most of the profits. Check out what it costs to plow the parking lot at Wellington arena every time it snows. And didn’t they find it necessary to hire an events co-ordinator because it was not living up to its potential? It would be criminal to knock down the fire hall. It does not have to be surrounded by grass and trees in order to be a useful building. Keep on knocking down our old buildings and Picton will lose its character. The tourists may not be so enchanted with it. The Mt. Tabor church became a playhouse and a Bloomfield cafeteria for factory workers has become the Baxter Centre, a popular arts centre. The chapel in Glenwood Cemetery was saved and today performers from the county Jazz Festival play there each summer. Kudos to those who have the vision to see how these buildings can be repurposed and kept in our community. I’d rather see my tax dollars go to save the fire hall than see them squandered on a splash pad or a skate board park..

  2. Emily says:

    Points well taken. It is difficult to raise a young family in Picton. I cannot support saving an old fire hall while so many cannot pay water bills. When you need to pay rent, hydro, and $$ water and find food for the table it is most difficult to support tax $$ towards an old brick building with limited use.

  3. Susan says:

    The old fire hall lower section, what would it be used for? The place is not like in other towns and surrounded by pleasant green space and landscaping. It is surrounded by King St and Ross St and paved parking lots! Arenas, baseball diamonds, and skate parks attract new comers to reside here and assist a badly in need tax base. Some old buildings just need to go so not to burden an over stretched taxpayer. We have been down this road many times before. We cannot save, preserve and restore every old building. We are in debt. We need to move forward within reality. Society has changed right or wrong but it has changed. The old firehall I suspect doesn’t mean squat to most residents now. This society is now considering assisted death for humans which is far more important than bricks and mortar.

  4. Gary says:

    Arena users pay big dollars to use those facilities. That is user fees to the tax base. So called historical buildings are a direct tax burden on the tax base. I agree we need some but the taxpayer can’t save them all. As for that old brick church who could take on an old inaccessible, energy sucking monstrosity like that? It had little character and few potential uses.

  5. Marnie says:

    @Susan. The Gillespie house is over-priced given that extensive renovations that would be needed. If the county were to make the price a little more attractive, it might sell. We can’t afford to lose these buildings.

  6. Marnie says:

    The Gillespie house is a lovely old home but historically it does not compare with the fire hall. Tell me,Richard, why we should cheer when council spends money on arenas, ball diamonds and skateboard parks but call it a waste of money when anyone suggests saving a heritage building. Does anyone tell the sports enthusiasts that they should put up their own bucks for hockey arenas and baseball diamonds? When I pay my taxes I put up my money. I’m not using the arena or the ball diamond and there are many others like me who do not use these facilities. Maybe we’d like to see some of our tax dollars spent to save an historic building that could be repurposed. The upstairs floor of the fire hall is in excellent condition and has a stained glass window donated by Claire Lamont. You want to sell or demolish it. Perhaps since it has an elevator ir could make a seniors’ centre. But who cares about seniors? They don’t play ball or hockey and you won’t find them at the skateboard park. If you keep on tearing down old buildings soon Picton’s streetscape will have no visual appeal. It’s charm lies in these old buildings.

  7. Richard says:

    I would like to know why some people think that every public owned building is historic in value. The old fire hall has some history and should be maintained by some one but not the tax payers to only sit empty most of the time The building across the parking lot is an old house which I remember having a lovely back yard and orchard before the town bought the property and turned the back yard into a parking lot. It sits now because what good is it to anyone, not an office building that is why the county has it for sale and are renting at the Edward. It is like the old church if you want it saved put up your money and save it.

  8. Charlie Campbell says:

    It is good to finally see it begin. I am sure everyone has to agree on that. And on the positive side of it, since it will take the divison 2 (Hallowell) much longer to respond, (as identified a fews years ago) one might now anticipate the need of having more full time fighters, to ensure a timely response to those areas that District Two covers. Some what disappointed not to see the District 2 Commander present for the ceremonial picture. Hadn’t realized that the hall and property at Loc Sloy, had been leased these many years, so yes that will be a great savings indeed. Yes, good to see it start. charlie

  9. Susan says:

    We have another historic building, the old planning office sitting nearby the firehall. It has been for sale for quite some time. Tax base can’t support all these old surplus structures.

  10. Marnie says:

    The fire hall is an historic building – once the old Picton opera house. Hopefully the county will keep it. We’ve sold enough of our heritage for the mighty dollar.This building is in good shape and surely can be repurposed for community use.

  11. Richard says:

    Now we will have a new hall, this means that the county will not have to lease the building at Loch Sloy or the present building for the paramedics.
    Also the old hall can go up for sale and the county will get some cash and have a building that will generate tax dollars.
    Do not hold your breathe they still have not sold the old arena in Wellington that could have put cash in our pocket and generated taxes dollars lets see the last 5 years. Our council have no problem playing with our money. Sell the arena!!! and the old fire hall, list them today lets do something pro active.

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