Frequently asked Questions re Fire Hall Construction

 

As we receive more questions, we will post answers on the MIID and Fire Hall websites, the Fire Hall’s Facebook page and will publish them in the Mayneliner.
Printed copies are available from the MIID office at 520 Felix Jack Road

 

most recent here

1. Question: The referendum was held in April. Why has it taken so long to get approval to go ahead with construction?

Answer

Following the referendum, some Mayne Island property owners contacted the Ministry (of Community Sport and Cultural Development) to express concerns about the referendum process.

In response, the Ministry undertook a thorough review of the process to ensure it complied with regulatory requirements.

We received confirmation of the Ministry's approval on July 21st, 2014, approximately twelve weeks after the referendum was held. We had anticipated a six-week wait for approval, so the delay set back the start of construction by about six weeks.

2. Question: Given that the start of construction has been delayed by six weeks, are there any cost implications associated with a “winter build”?

Answer

We do not believe the delay will affect costs. In fact, there may be some savings from off-season ferry rates. Also, ferries aren’t as busy in the fall and winter so access to sailings for transport of materials should be easier.

The majority of the impact of weather is expected to occur during the excavation phase and that will have been completed before we head into our rainy season.

Steel rates are likely to increase on January 1st, so it is more cost-effective for us to start the build in September rather than waiting until after the new year.

We also expect that any work interruptions that could have resulted from summer extreme fire hazard conditions are not anticipated in the fall.

3. Question: How will the fire department operate during the build?

Answer

The fire department will be fully operational throughout the construction project.

The department will stay in the existing fire hall until temporary facilities are ready to be occupied. The 911 emergency system will not be affected in any way during the move.

We are confident that the transition will be smooth, with only minor disruptions to telephone and internet service to the offices.

4. Question: How will you maintain the safety and security of the fire trucks and equipment during the build?

Answer

Provisions will be made to ensure that the trucks and equipment are safely housed in a temporary secure structure with security doors. Where possible, we will re-use existing doors and locks to ensure that all our firefighters have continuous access to firefighting equipment.

5. Question: Will there be work opportunities for people who live on Mayne Island?

Answer

Yes. The MIID is committed to hiring qualified local subcontractors whenever possible. That commitment has been a long-standing part of the fire hall project.

There will be a tendering process. Based on the construction company’s recommendations, the MIID will be making all final decisions about the hiring of subcontractors

6. Question: Can I make a donation specifically for the fire hall construction project, and will I receive a tax receipt?

Answer

Yes. We welcome donations specifically for the project and are happy to provide receipts for any donations of $20 or more.

7. Question: How was the size of the new fire hall determined?

Answer

We expect the new fire hall to serve our community for the next 50 years, so we planned for our immediate needs and our long term needs.

We considered factors such as keeping pace with community growth and future changes in fire fighting regulations that could imply either augmenting or replacing existing equipment to meet the community’s needs.

As well, our new fire hall will accommodate all our existing fleet of trucks, equipment and storage facilities. A number of those assets are currently housed outside the fire hall.

8. Question: Where will the fire department get its water once the water storage tanks are removed?

Answer

Some water will still be available on site for training purposes and domestic water will continue to be supplied by on-site wells.

Water for firefighting use will come from the dry hydrants that have been (and continue to be) installed in strategically located existing ponds around the island.

Two of those ponds are very close to the fire hall.

9. Question: What will happen to existing fire hall furnishings and building materials?

Answer

To minimize costs and environmental impact, we intend to recycle, re-use and re-purpose as much as possible. This approach significantly reduces both replacement and disposal costs.

For example, existing cinder blocks, concrete foundation materials and asphalt will be crushed locally and used for back-fill; kitchen equipment, desks, filing cabinets and other furniture will be relocated to the temporary offices.

Prior to demolition, our firefighters will use the old fire hall for training purposes -- giving them a rare opportunity to practice on an intact building

10. Question: What's going to happen to the four big plastic water tanks in use at the fire hall now?

Answer

As we've said before, we're hoping to re-use, recycle or re-purpose as many of our existing assets as possible.

We'll be keeping at least one of the water tanks for fire fighter practices.

The others may be used as a water supply for our new fire hall's sprinkler system, but the feasibility of that will be determined by the company responsible for its installation.

11. Question: Now that the existing fire hall is closed, where do I go to get my burning permit? And where can I park?

Answer

We have moved into our temporary office space in the ATCO trailer closest to Felix Jack Road.

There are OFFICE/BURN PERMITS signs at both ends of the trailer.

The office is normally open from 9 am to 3 pm, Monday to Saturday.

There are some parking spaces adjacent to the trailer (on the tarmac in front of the existing fire hall) and there is ample parking on the sides of Felix Jack Road.

Please DO NOT park in front of the fire trucks.

12. Question: Was any hazardous material found in the existing fire hall?

Answer:

Yes, a small amount of asbestos was detected during an inspection of the entire building on April 15th, 2014.

The asbestos was on the backing (underside) of some linoleum flooring in one small area. No other hazardous material was found.

The asbestos-backed linoleum has been removed and the removal cost was covered in our original budget

13. Question: How was the old fire hall building debris disposed of?

Answer

The demolition debris was either recycled or disposed of in an eco-friendly manner.

 

Most of the building debris was removed by Alpine Recycling to be processed at their plant in Victoria, where metal is separated out for recycling and the remaining product used for land fill cover.

The fire hall's concrete blocks and foundation will be crushed on Mayne by John Dodds for backfill materials and Gord Townsend took away the larger metal scrap for recycling.

14. Question: I just got my property tax assessment and it has gone up. Is that because of the new fire hall?

Answer: 

  • No.  The cost to cover the construction of the new fire hall will not start to appear on your tax notices until 2016.

  • Currently, the cost of fire protection on Mayne Island is part of the Mayne Island Improvement District line item under the "Local Services" identified on your Rural Property Tax Notice.

15. Question: How is the fire hall construction progressing?

Answer: 

  • We received our building permit in time to order the actual building before the end of the year, a deadline we wanted to meet because the cost of steel is going up on January 1st.

  • Work on the foundation will begin in the new year.

16. Question: Is the fire hall construction schedule still on track?

Answer: 

  • In addition to some other minor setbacks that have been resolved, our geo-tech engineers informed us that they had discovered that part of the building site soil was made up of old land fill that isn't suitable to meet seismic requirements. As a result, the excavators have had to dig deeper than originally planned, which has delayed our progress.

  • We ordered the steel building material in December 2014 and we have received our building permit, so are ready to proceed with the foundation as soon as the excavation is complete.

  • Despite the delay, our budget is still on target. We expect to take occupancy of our new fire hall in the summer of 2015.

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