Springwater Fire & Emergency Services – Facilities
A bit of history – The replacement of Station 2 (Midhurst) started in 2002. The 2003 Master Fire Plan recommended (among other things) amalgamating Station 1 (Centre Vespra) and Station 2. Station 2 was closed and sold and Station 3 (Minesing) was built. Station 1 was kept and currently is rented to Georgian College for $40K per year. Station 1 and 2 were amalgamated in 2004 in the Public Works Yard facilities on Snow Valley Rd., presently housing 3 vehicles and being served by 25 firefighters. In June 2010, property was purchased for a new station on Snow Valley Rd., just east of Anne St. north. Between 2011 and 2014 staff and the Fire Station Building Committee worked to create an RFP, pre-qualify bidders, issued an RFP, reviewed submissions and selected as the preferred bid Domm Construction, which bid $2 million to complete an 11,836 sq. ft. building. Previous Council did not finalize this decision and move forward with it before end of its term.
When the current Council assumed this project, the time deadline for this bid had expired and the bid price had to be re-visited. We received an updated estimate from Domm of $2,134,000 including non-recoverable HST of $37,000, before any cost overruns.
Under current Council, the Fire Master Plan was updated during this term and it identified the need for a new fire station to replace the Station 2 facility.
When I came on Council 4 years ago, I wanted to explore the possibility of having fire services co-locate in a new station with Simcoe Paramedic Services, similar to the Clearview station, but without the police services component. I met with Simcoe County staff and developed with them an expression of interest to co-locate with Springwater fire services if the location was on the Bayfield corridor around the juncture of Snow Valley Rd. In November 2015, Council confirmed with Simcoe County its interest in co-locating the services and a written undertaking was obtained.
The Fire Building Committee, of which I have been a member this term, and Council decided to continue working on Fire Station 2 improvements while the search continued for an appropriate site for a new station that could accommodate co-location with paramedic services. Significant delays were experienced getting performance and results from the design architects retained by Springwater. The RFP and RFQ process eventually occurred and in January 2018, the contract for Station 2 renovations was awarded at a cost of $716,000 plus taxes. Work commenced in 2018 and will be completed by the fall of 2018.
It remains a priority of mine and of Council to continue to explore possibilities for a permanent fire station to replace Fire Station 2, at which point in future, Public Works will expand into the full Yard 2 renovated facility, to provide much needed additional space for operating. A possible location for a new fire station is actively being pursued and investigated at this time.
Simcoe County paramedic services remain committed to co-locate with Springwater Fire & Emergency Services once this is finalized.
Next term when I am Mayor, all of this will be completed.
Deputy Mayor – Don Allen