An alternate approval process (AAP) will be used later this year to determine if Merville residents want a fire hall to be constructed in their community north of Courtenay.
The cost to construct and equip the facility are estimated at $2,129,000.
At the Aug. 25 meeting, the Comox Valley Regional District board approved third reading of a loan authorization bylaw to construct the hall.
“This is not creating a service, we are simply looking for a borrowing bylaw to make it happen,” Area C director Edwin Grieve said. “There will be no new taxes on this. It’s the same requisition that we’ve been paying for years. I think it has a very, very good chance of going through.
“One of the alternate things about it is that it also supplies first responders to the area,” Grieve added. “When you look at the average age of people in my district, it’s going to be very welcome to be able to have somebody show up at your door with a defibrillator when you need one. I’m hoping the community will get behind us, and we can get shovels in the ground as soon as possible.”
The fire hall is proposed to be an auxiliary facility managed by the Oyster River Fire Rescue department. The CVRD has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) to lease a portion of its property to build the hall.
“This is a project that has been well planned and well prepared for,” CAO Russell Dyson said. “There is the feeling there is unanimous support in the community. Nonetheless, this is a process that enables the public to set the reset button if we don’t have that right.”
Pending inspector approval, the AAP will be held from Nov. 5-Dec. 7. The number of responses needed to prevent adoption of the bylaw via the AAP is 273, which is 10 per cent of eligible voters.