Moving day for Kaslo fire department

The building isn’t quite finished, but the Kaslo fire department is expected to move into its new hall today.

The facility is very close to its $1.2 million budget, Regional District of Central Kootenay regional fire chief Terry Swan told 103.5 The Juice FM.

“I can’t be exact but based on all the estimates I’ve received, we’re going to be on and I’m even tempted to say below budget,” he said.

Flooring was completed late last week and cabinets are scheduled to go in this week. Beyond that, Swan said, all that’s left is minor details such as light fixtures and switch plates.

Construction has been underway since last November following a successful referendum in May 2013. At the same time, residents approved converting their fire department into a regional district service.

The building will be home to both the fire department and Kaslo search and rescue.

Swan said an unfinished space has been left “in the hopes that in the not-too-distant future we can entice BC Ambulance to move in with us as well.”

For the moment, paramedics continue to operate out of a station next to the hospital. Swan said he hoped to enter into more formal discussions at the end of the year or early next.

While there was some suggestion volunteer labour might help reduce the overall cost of the project, Swan said that hasn’t yet materialized.

“Pretty much everything to date has been paid for,” he said. “When we get into finishing projects we might get some volunteer help, but I’m not counting on it at this stage. I’m pushing hard to get the project wrapped up and everybody moved in.”

The existing fire hall was built in the 1970s and is attached to the village’s historic city hall. The new hall is next to the arena.

(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said that a grand opening was scheduled for September 21. It has now been postponed.)

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