The CVRD provides the Greater Merville Fire Protection Service and contracts with the City of Courtenay for fire suppression services. The CVRD has committed to construct, equip and operate a new auxiliary fire hall to be located at the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society property at Williams Beach Road and the Island Highway.  This new fire hall is to be managed in collaboration with Oyster River Fire Rescue.

The consultant’s report recommended the development of an auxiliary fire hall, centrally located within the Greater Merville area may provide the following benefits:

  • Improved life-safety of the residents within the service area
  • A responding fire hall within eight kilometers of the residents which may lead to reduced fire insurance premiums
  • Delivery of medical first responder program within the service area

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has presented some challenges, the CVRD continues to move this project forward.

Project Update as of December 10, 2020

This project includes Fire Hall design and construction as well as the purchase of Fire Service vehicles and equipment.

Elector Assent

Merville Fire Protection Service AAP Closes

The borrowing of funds to complete the project requires elector assent. That is; the residents and property owners of the service area must approve the borrowing of the funds for construction and equipment purchase for the new Merville Fire Hall.

On November 5, 2020 the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) began an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) for the loan authorization bylaw to help finance the construction and equipping of a new Greater Merville Fire Protection Service fire hall.

On December 7, 2020 the AAP process ended. At the close of the process 8 eligible elector response forms were received and the Board may now consider the bylaw for adoption at their December 15 meeting.

In order for the CVRD to proceed with the final adoption of the loan authorization bylaw, less than 10 per cent of the electors in the service area would have had to submit an elector response form. The total number of electors for this AAP was determined to be 2,733. Therefore, the CVRD would have had to receive 273 elector response forms to prevent the Board from adopting Bylaw No. 614 without going to referendum.

Next Steps

Following adoption of the loan authorization bylaw, staff will begin the tendering processes to select the construction contractor as well as the fire service equipment suppliers. It is anticipated that fire hall construction will continue through the summer of 2021.

Anticipated Project Schedule

Description

Anticipated ScheduleNotes
Engage engineer/architect to refine the designSummer/Fall 2020Completed
Engineer/architect to refine construction cost estimates to Class A levelFall 2020Completed
Letters to residents and property owners Fall /Winter 2020Completed
Electoral assent processWinter 2021CompletedCompleted
Fire hall and Fire truck construction contractor selection processesWinter/Spring 2021In Progress
Fire hall and Fire truck constructionSummer 2021TBD

This project includes Fire Hall design and construction as well as the purchase of Fire Service vehicles and equipment. The total cost for the fire hall project is estimated at $2,129,430 to be funded through a combination of capital reserves and a maximum of two million dollars of borrowing. No tax increase is projected as part of the borrowing plan due to transitioning reserve contributions to debt repayment.

Fire Hall Design and Construction

The architect and engineering team has completed the fire hall design which includes:

  • Single storey wood framed building that meets post disaster construction requirements
  • Two truck bays (fire engine and tanker truck)
  • Radio room space
  • Training room space

The estimated cost for construction is approximately 1.3 million dollars. This estimate may differ from construction bids when they are received.

Fire Service Vehicles and Equipment

Staff has developed a fire service equipment list which includes:

  • Fire Engine
  • Tanker truck
  • Duty response truck
  • Tools, operational equipment and safety gear required to provide the service.

The estimated cost for the fire service vehicles and equipment for this project is approximately $810,000. This estimate may differ from equipment supply bids when they are received.

Volunteer Recruitment

The Merville Fire Protection service currently has 14 dedicated volunteers that are trained and ready to serve their community but more volunteers are needed. Volunteer recruitment is ongoing and having a full complement of volunteer fire fighters is essential for the hall to operate. Please consider becoming a volunteer firefighter.

For more information on becoming a volunteer firefighter please contact https://www.oysterriverfire.ca/

 

For More Information

James Bast, Manager of fire services
Email | Tel: 250-334-6044

Background

The need to establish a fire hall in the Merville region was identified in a study conducted for the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) in 2016.

As a new fire hall would benefit both the Merville Fire Protection Service and the Tsolum-Farnham Fire Protection Service, the CVRD has committed to merging these two services. This will make the project more cost efficient and will ensure that property owners pay an equitable amount toward the auxiliary hall project. 

At community meetings and Director’s events, attending residents and property owners expressed support for the construction of a Greater Merville auxiliary fire hall.

2018 Public Information Session

Thank you to all who attended the public information session in August 2018 to hear about the status of the auxiliary fire hall project.  We appreciate all of the interest. View the presentation panels