Fire hall affordability, Open House with Ernie Polsom
Fire-Wise Consulting Limited’s Ernie Polsom and the Creston Fire Hall Advisory Select Committee hosted an open house last week. Polsom spoke on a range of subjects including new fire hall location, size and materials. Polsom explained that stringent and numerous building codes in British Columbia drive up the costs.
“Seismic, forest fires, all of the natural calamities that effect British Columbia uniquely. It makes your buildings more expensive to build. Especially an emergency services building.”
He said a unique opportunity presents itself in Creston, as materials to construct the facility may also vary. Striking a partnership with Canadian lumber, steel and concrete suppliers can also drive costs down.
Polsom was also asked if the project could be made more affordable if the Town simply proposed to borrow less, thus forcing a stricter budget.
“There’s a requirement to borrow to the worst case scenario. So they have to go in with the assumption of a high interest rate and they have to go in with the assumption of no grants or anything like that. We know that’s not reality. So, if there is an affirmative yes vote, then we go to building design and start to look for the grants and start to bring down the borrowing cost for the community.”
Polsom reminded people that a no vote does not result in an affordable fire hall, just no fire hall.