City buys land on Capital Drive for new fire station

Dave Stewart
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The City of Charlottetown has spent $1.45 million to buy land on Capital Drive for a new fire station.

Coun. Jason Coady, chairman of advanced planning and priorities, delivered the news at city council's regular public monthly meeting on Monday night.

The proposed new location, and it is just proposed at this stage, is at the intersection of Capital Drive and Sandstone Road, which serves as the entrance to Walmart and Old Navy off the highway.

"We went out and purchased a piece of land on Capital Drive for $1.45 million, conditional upon hiring an engineering firm to go out and make sure that the land is suitable,'' Coady said following the council meeting.

The city had set aside $2.25 million in the budget to buy the land and pay for the design work. The intention is still to operate two fire stations in the capital city, the existing one on Kent Street and a new station closer to the northern end of the city.

That means the fire station location in the former neighbourhood of Sherwood will close, but not until the new station is up and running. The city's lease for Station 2 in Sherwood is running out.

A fire station study was completed as a result of insurance requirements, meaning the city has to offer fire protection to the parameters of the capital, to areas such as the industrial park.

Coady says the next step will be to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to contract an engineering firm to come in, look at the vacant piece of land on the north side of Capital Drive, tell the firm what the city is looking for and what the specs have to be. The firm, in turn, will let the city know if it's feasible to put the building there.

"It was a big process. Staff looked at about 19 properties over the city and this was the No. 1 preferred location so we're happy to be able to explore this further.''

Coady said it's hard to speculate on when or if construction might start.

"Obviously, it's a concern. The insurance regulators would like us to keep moving forward with this but there's got to be due diligence done in terms of engineering, site plans and that kind of stuff. I'm not sure how long that kind of stuff takes but we'll certainly be moving forward diligently.''

The city has until May 31 to accept the property as is.

According to insurance regulations, the city must provide fire protection in which the station(s) are no more than five kilometres away from commercial buildings (that includes apartments of four units or more) and no more than eight kilometers away from residential buildings.

With so much growth on the north end of the city, change was inevitable.

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

 

Organizations: Walmart, Old Navy

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Sherwood, Sandstone Road Kent Street

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Recent comments

  • Yogi Bear
    April 15, 2014 - 23:38

    Along the perimeter highway is where it's at. Central is closer to the airport. Also, why does that highway not have a name????? Come on city hall. Name it.

  • concerned
    April 15, 2014 - 19:33

    As a tax payer in sherwood, i would like to see a new station along the bypass.... I know it is going to offer better service for that side of town, but my taxes will inevitably increase to pay for this location and i will receive a lower level of service. My not govt garage... land for sale across from cat dealership..... close to Toyota to name a few

  • Ermit
    April 15, 2014 - 13:02

    I agree a more central location could be found to east royalty, the hospital and west royalty area. As well why should the city take 6 acres of land that could be a substantial tax generator for the city and province? Do they really need 6 acres of land? Why not tie the fire department in with the Government Garage. The Land is already purchased, their vehicles could be fixed and maintained without leaving site. It will have easy access to the bypass which is a hub to all areas. Seems like a waste of prime commercial land with not a cheap price tag.

    • mark
      April 15, 2014 - 15:49

      Anywhere on Capital Drive is a terrible location. The best location for a single fire station would be at the intersection of Mount Edward Road and Belvedere Avenue. If you are keeping the downtown station (on a 1-way street, no less!) and need a 2nd station, then the best places for serving the northern, northwestern and northeastern parts of the city are close to the perimeter highway at either Brackley Point Rd or Mount Edward Rd intersections. The city has its public works garage on MacAleer Drive, not far away from either of these intersections. Perhaps the 2nd fire station could be co-located with public works? The only way the Capital Drive location will be tolerable is if Capital Drive gets extended across the Confederation Trail to the intersection with Mount Edward Road and Ash Drive.

  • East Royalty Resident
    April 15, 2014 - 08:53

    This location seems very far away from East Royalty. I realize this will improve the coverage for West Royalty/Winsloe but why rob Peter to pay Paul? The city's master plan for East Royalty calls for very large developments to take place. If this location is chosen the same problem West Royalty has now will happen all over again in East Royalty. Now is the right time to choose a central location that will serve all of the city's outskirts for many years to come. What about coverage to the hospital? They make mention of 5 km distance to commercial buildings, the current station on St Peters Road is 3.6Km from the QEH the proposed new hall will be about twice as far away. Now is the time to talk to your city council with concerns on this location, they have the final say. Make it known to them that you are not OK with a solution other then a long term solution that will work for the entire city. This location in my opinion isn't that solution. TLDR; New fire hall location only a short term fix. A more central location with better access to the perimeter highway is needed.