Backing off: Location for new Charlottetown fire hall not suitable

Dave Stewart
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Google Street View of area on Capital Drive, the treed area in centre of photo, where city had hoped to build a new fire hall. The undeveloped land is on the north side of Capital Drive, across from a new seniors home now under construction by the traffic lights on Sandstone drive leading into Walmart.

City will now continue looking for some other location in north end for a brand new firehall

The search is back on to find a location for a new fire station in Charlottetown.

The city announced in April it was going to spend $1.45 million to buy land on Capital Drive for a centrally located station.

The project has been called off.

“The site was not suitable for our purposes for constructing a new fire station,’’ said Coun. Jason Coady, chairman of advanced planning and priorities. “When we got on site and did our analysis there were going to be additional costs for our purposes. For what we needed it was not suitable.’’

That doesn’t mean the city is out $1.45 million. The actual sale of the land on Capital Drive was contingent on the site being suitable and the project actually going ahead.

The location in question is beside National Music, across from where Capital Drive intersects Sandstone Road which serves as an entrance to the Walmart shopping area.

The city had set aside $2.25 million in its capital 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 north end of the city.

That means the fire station located 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.

Coady said finding out the Capital Drive location wasn’t suitable is disappointing.

“I feel bad for the firefighters. I feel bad for all the staff who have put in so much effort into this project to get to where we are. That was our No. 1 site. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.’’

A fire station study was completed due to insurance requirements. That study indicated the need for a station closer to the northern section of the city, where the industrial park is located as well as expanding neighbourhoods such as Winsloe and West Royalty.

Staff has looked at close to 20 properties so far.

Coady doesn’t think it will take long to find a new site.

“Staff is actively pursuing another site and there’s some other sites that have come up and they are actively pursuing to see if we can come to some sort of arrangement there.’’

Coady said an alternate site would likely be close to the Capital Drive location.

“We want to stay in that general area, to the north of the city where development is taking place. We want to try and meet our response times (and abide by) national standards.’’

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Walmart, Old Navy

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Sherwood, Sandstone Road Kent Street West Royalty

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Recent comments

  • Sandi
    July 12, 2014 - 21:13

    Why not out on Sherwood Rd, next to EMS and close to airport ?

    • Bill Meeker
      July 13, 2014 - 12:42

      So Sandi, you want the fire department as far away as possible from the homes and businesses they are protecting. That is really dumb. This is not a factory we are talking about. This is the fire department that needs to be as close to where the fires will be as they can get. You are saying the department should move to where the response times will more than double than what they are now. As I said - dumb. The EMS is out there because they cover the whole province and they are close to the main roads. They also have ambulances roaming all the time for, get this, fast response times.

    • Slartibartfast
      July 15, 2014 - 23:33

      Holy man, Bill. It was simply a question. You can answer it without tearing someone's head off.

  • krissta
    July 12, 2014 - 16:58

    How about the old Canadian Tire Store, once they move out, there is a place, - and with the empire building that the City seems to be embarking on, there would be room for the Water Works, the planning division where nobody is ever available anyway, (save the rent for the Tweel building) and other odds and ends that the City fiddles with. May even get a deal, as everybody is moving out to the 'new' mall, so who wants to be stuck at the old place. .

  • Robert Stevenson
    July 12, 2014 - 09:30

    In case you have forgotten, the car dealership is now a gas station/convenience/restaurant. Unless you mean the strip mall where Hughes had been; or possibly the Cat dealership. Another tiny tidbit; the study was done over 20 years ago and the site was suggested as the corner of Thompson and North River Road.

  • DL
    July 12, 2014 - 06:01

    What were the additional costs that made the site unsuitable?....if this is the planning committee's number one choice of location, it would seem unwise to locate the station at a less optimum and effective location for the sake of a bit of additional up front cash.....

  • Billy P
    July 12, 2014 - 05:38

    There should only be one fire station right in the middle of chtown, close sherwood and the one downtown, build one big fire station at the old cat dealership on belevdere/University ave....5 minute drive to anywhere in the city! Stop wasting money for a small city we dont need two fire stations one big one right in the center!

  • mark
    July 11, 2014 - 20:03

    This story is a little late. There has been construction on an apartment building for the past two months. Good reporting folks.

    • Dave Stewart
      July 11, 2014 - 21:49

      The proposed location for the new fire station on Capital Drive was set to go across the street from where that apartment building is currently under construction.

    • mark
      July 12, 2014 - 05:52

      You are right. I should read the story correctly the first time..