Plans to build a new administration and police building in Central Saanich will go ahead for now.
Council debated the merits of leaving the project where it is without public input until after the fall election, but ultimately decided to go ahead and flush out details for a public open house.
“It’s important to keep the process going forward. It’s up to the next council where they will take it,” said councillor Ron Kubek.
The work should take four months to complete, culminating in a public open house in late May or early June this year.
The district is also moving forward with a planned new fire hall. The total cost of the project is expected to reach approximately $8.8 million which the district would borrow. Grants could reduce the cost to approximately $7.3 million.
“It will cost the average homeowner about $77 a year, or $6 a month,” said Kubek.
A public open house should be held in late April or early May this year. There will be a counter-petition process for the borrowing bylaw following the open house in late spring.
The plans for the new fire hall are taken from an existing hall in Williams Lake, BC. It includes a four-storey tower, enough space for eight fire trucks, a large training room, conference room and office space.
Since 2006, the District of Central Saanich has been undertaking a comprehensive facilities planning process for its major municipal buildings which include municipal hall, fire, police and public works.
In 2009 the district completed a Fire Hall Location Review, a study which confirmed that a second fire station is required in order to provide improved safety coverage and response times for the south half of the district, particularly in the Keating and Brentwood areas.
The district purchased two adjacent lots located at 1498 and 1516 Keating X Road, close to the intersection of Keating X Road and West Saanich Road, approximately 3.85 acres, for the fire hall development.