A Red Deer fire station is heading north.
The Municipal Planning Commission approved a development permit application for a fire hall as a discretionary use at 406 Townsend Street in north Timberlands on Wednesday.
Mayor Tara Veer, who chairs the planning commission, said this fire station is essential to facilitate development and growth in the north.
“Our service level standard is four minutes or less travel time, 90 per cent of the time for fire trucks and ambulances,” said Veer. “In order for us to be able to serve the residents in the northeast and ensure that we are meeting that safety standard, it is essential this fire station move forward.”
Council approved $15 million in the 2015 capital budget to relocate two of the city’s five fire stations. It also gave the green light on a long-term Emergency Services Management Plan. Work is underway.
Station 4 will relocate to the site on Townsend Street from 30 Davison Dr.
The site is bordered by Threfall Gate to the east and Townsend Street to the south, with future commercial development planned in the area and 67th Street to the north.
In February, city council also approved the relocation of the southeast Station 3 to a northeast corner of 30th Avenue and Lees Avenue, west of Notre Dame High School, from its existing spot on 32nd Street.
The 32nd Street station will be used as a dispatch centre, with fire prevention and administrative offices.
The moves are part of the city’s plan to accommodate growth and meet provincially-regulated safety standards.
Coun. Ken Johnston said there are plenty of opportunities with the new fire hall, which will be located near the new high schools.
“It’s an opportunity to be a great community hub,” said Johnston. “I think a multi-use area not just for the community and neighbours but also for kids that might be considering careers in emergency services. I can really see this as a real hands-on field trip type of project. I am very, very happy to support it. It’s a wonderful addition to that section of the city.”
The new station will feature five bays for emergency services vehicles, a training tower and staff facilities. It will accommodate up to 10 staff.
According to a city report, Emergency Services staff have expressed an interest in building a community garden on the site. This station, of the two new stations, will be planned to allow the public visits and open houses.
The emergency responses from the station will enter onto Threfall Gate. All non-emergency traffic with the exception of ambulances will enter the station on Townsend Street.
A public art component will be part of the new building. It is expected to be up and running by September 2016.