Taber consulting with community on fire hall replacement

By Geoff Smith - Lethbridge News Now
February 13, 2018 - 2:45pm

TABER, AB — Residents have a chance to learn which ten locations the Town of Taber is considering for a new fire hall.

An update will be provided at an open house Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the Community Centre Auditorium, with a presentation planned for 7 p.m. Mayor Andrew Prokop said the town will also gather input from residents in the meeting, which was a promise made some time ago.

“Absolutely there’s concern and interest out there of the general public to make sure we’re making the right decision, and putting this in the right location,” Prokop said in an interview earlier Tuesday. At its meeting Monday, town council removed four potential locations from the list.

Prokop said the goal is a more centrally-located emergency services building. The current facility is in an industrial area. A question-and-answer page on the town’s website specifies a goal of providing a response rate of ten minutes or less to most of the town. A council report said a centrally-located emergency services building could cut response times by as much as five minutes.

One benefit of meeting the response rate target would be that home builders would no longer have to meet High Intensity Residential Fire requirements, which are aimed at halting the spread of fast-moving fires in urban areas.

Prokop said the town has created a design, after consulting with similarly-sized communities. The cost has been estimated at $2.5 million, and $1.5 million of that was set aside in fall 2017 from the $2.4 million bequest the town received from the estate of William Ferguson.

He added there is no timeline for completing the project.

“This is part of the process. We decided and/or promised we would involve the community, and we’re simply following up on that particular promise to seek that input,” Prokop explained. “We’re looking for some good discussion on the remaining ten sites and anything else that might come out of that discussion.”

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