At the regular meeting of Council on May 31, a plan was put in motion to expand Halleville’s Fire Station. A key information document presented to Council explains that an existing pickup truck which is used by Station 2 substation in Hallville to respond to fires must be stored in South Mountain, because Hallville’s fire station only has room to store its pumper truck and tanker truck.
There are 11 firefighters stationed in Hallville, but the two firetrucks can only accommodate a total of seven riders between them. When all of Hallville’s firefighters respond to a call, this means that the last four firefighters are left only with their personal vehicles as a means of getting to the location of the call. “Parking the pickup truck… at the Hallville station would reduce the chances of firefighters being required to report to the scene in their personal vehicles,” the information document reads.
Council was given a rough estimate of $175,000 as the cost of a proposed expansion to the fire station, where the pickup truck would be stored. It is reported that the public has already shown support for the project. The goal is to avoid using municipal taxation funds to support the project, and instead fundraise to collect the required money for the expansion. The proposed start date of the construction is the spring of 2023.
Fire Chief Raymond Sherrer told Council at the May 31 meeting that he was hopeful members of Council had read the information document, and that he would field any questions. When Mayor Tony Fraser asked for more detail, Chief Sherrer explained that there are firefighters and members of the public who “don’t feel that the station [in Hallville] is adequate for what’s there” because of the two new subdivisions in Hallville. Chief Sherrer added that the proposed expansion of the Hallville Fire Station would also provide room to install a washer and dryer, which would also be purchased with fundraising money. He explained that the purpose of a washer and dryer – which all other North Dundas stations currently have – is to wash away the carcinogens and other toxins that firefighter gear absorbs during firefighting. Mayor Fraser, who is a former firefighter himself, added that dirty firefighter gear doesn’t offer as much protection, and doesn’t last as long.
Council gave Chief Sherrer the green light to obtain estimates for the cost and design of the project, though Councillor John Thompson explained that it would be irresponsible to fully endorse the project without first obtaining these estimates, as well as gauging the amount of fundraising dollars anticipated from local businesses and individual donors.
Other routine business was discussed at the May 31 Council meeting as well, including a request for renovation funding from the Chesterville and District Historical Society, the approval of which was delayed pending further estimates of the cost. In total, the meeting ran for just under 90 minutes.