Crofton Fire Hall project funding AAP passes

Results are in: Crofton Fire Hall project funding AAP passes

(North Cowichan, BC) – The Alternative Approval Process (AAP) for the North Cowichan’s Crofton Fire Hall replacement project is now finished, with just 0.02% of eligible electors registering their opposition. At the close of the process on August 22, six elector response forms were received, well below the 10 per cent (2,868) threshold that would have required assent voting (referendum) to proceed with the $4.8 million borrowing for the project.

Now that elector approval has been obtained, North Cowichan can move forward with the next step in this process, which will be adoption of the loan authorization bylaw at the September 7, 2022 regular Council meeting.

The existing fire hall in Crofton was constructed in 1964. A second floor addition was added sometime later, and the apparatus bays were built in 2002. A number of assessments and studies have concluded that the existing fire hall is in immediate need of seismic upgrades and urgent repairs, and given the cost of these repairs, it was recommended the older section of the fire hall be demolished and rebuilt in its current location. The newer apparatus bays are not in need of repairs and therefore will not be part of the construction.

The proposed fire hall building would be approximately 3,600 square feet (by comparison, the existing fire hall is 7,200 square feet) and includes training and administration space, as well as dedicated storage space for equipment, gear, and electronics. Members of North Cowichan’s Crofton fire hall have been without adequate training space since 2019 when the second floor was closed due to load bearing issues.

The North Cowichan Fire Department serves the municipality, as well as Quw'utsun, Halalt, Penelakut, Stz'uminus, and Lyackson First Nations from four fire halls: Chemainus, Maple Bay, South End, and Crofton. It is one of BC’s largest paid on-call fire department, with 113 members.

The new fire hall is expected to serve our community’s needs for 50 years.