City looking at new fire station

Diane Crocker
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The back of the current city fire station is shown in this undated photo.
— Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

CORNER BROOK  Rather than wait and see what happens, the City of Corner Brook is taking a “proactive” approach to fire services.

Mayor Charles Pender said there’s no doubt the needs of the city are changing in regards to fire protection and will even more when the new hospital is built off the Lewin Parkway.

That means the city is looking at what it will need to do to meet those needs and Pender said one thing is a new fire station.

“We’re just looking at the eventuality with the new hospital being built and new residential areas on Wheelers Road and up in that area we expect to expand,” said Pender. “And so we’re looking at longer-term planning. We’ll have to have a new fire station at some point.”

Pender noted the need for a new station doesn’t just come from the changing dynamics of the city.

“We know that there’s some issues with the building that we have now,” he said of the fire station which is situated at the end of Broadway and fronts onto the Lewin Parkway.

The building has served as the city’s lone fire station since the late 1990s when the then three fire stations on the east, west and Curling areas of the city were combined into one central station. The building was built in the early- to mid-’70s to serve as a bus depot and the back wall of the building is also a retaining wall for Broadway.

“There are some cracks that are being monitored,” said Pender.

He said the cracks are not major, but with a building that is getting close to 40 years old the city has to ask if it will be sufficient to meet the needs of the residents, business community and government infrastructure in the city.

“What we don’t want to do is find ourselves in a position a few years down the road where something happens to that retaining wall and instead of being proactive, like we’re trying to do now, and say what might be the possible need in the future, be caught in an emergency where something happens to that wall and we have to evacuate that fire station. Then we’re stuck.

“So we’d rather be proactive and say what are the possibilities.”

Right now Pender said the idea is the “conceptual” stages.

“We might build one in three years, we might build one in seven years. We know we’re going to need a new fire station at some point.”

In terms of location, Pender said one possible site is on Al’s Hill off O’Connell Drive where the city is planning to locate its new depot.

“That’s a very large site,” said Pender. “So instead of building two buildings,  can we build one building or can we put two buildings on the same site and save money in terms of water and sewer infrastructure and roads.”

Other possible locations include in the city’s industrial park or on Lundrigan Drive.

Pender added the location will depend on a number of factors including how to serve all areas of the city.

Pender said moving the fire station to the O’Connell Drive or Lewin Parkway area will affect response time to the east end of the city. He said the city still has the old station on Premier Drive and could look at reopening it and splitting the shifts to cover a second location to provide appropriate response times.

“What we want to do is look at the entire layout of the city, look at the dynamics and how a new hospital will change the way the city is laid out and other construction projects in other areas. And how does that change the need for fire response.”

Pender said a lot of what will happen depends on the hospital.

“When that starts moving then we can foresee that a large building like that and a construction project like that itself will require emergency response whether it’s accidents on the site or anything at all.”

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Broadway, Wheelers Road

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Recent comments

  • brad
    January 06, 2014 - 07:06

    jon,,are you from twilight zone?Who complained about the Mayor not doing enough?That definitely is not the problem.By the way,some of us actually know upalong quite well,and wouldn't know what couch time is.

  • Sid
    January 05, 2014 - 19:46

    Corner Brook got what it wanted. Another 4 years of money wasting. CB doesn't need the size of the fire department we have let alone a new building to put them in. Compare our size fire department with cities our size, you will find a large volunteer component and about 6 career firefighters. Stop sucking up to them Charlie. You wanted to decrease their number when you were mayor before but didn't have the guts to do it.

  • jon
    January 05, 2014 - 18:12

    Same names on here all the time complaining about anything, get off the couch and go run for mayor or council, we need a new fire station and all you talk about is money this and pender's palace that, honestly its getting very old. If you didnt vote for pender you voted for francis and she took her ball and went home when things didnt go her way. Do you really see a major chunk of cash coming out of your personal bank account for a new fire hall? Go for a trip off the island and see how the rest of the world lives. If Pender spends he loses in your eyes when he doesnt then we have to get a new mayor because he didnt do anything for the city, so what is it you want?

    • IAMtheJIB
      January 06, 2014 - 07:49

      1 thing. Fiscal responsibility. Build new projects when we can afford them. Don't come to the tax payers with excuses as to why the roads are not fit to drive on because they must keep their snow clearing on budget and in the same breath speak of building new multi-million dollar buildings. If he did this in a real world job, compared to the tax funded world these people live in, he would be fired.

  • brad
    January 05, 2014 - 16:46

    Charles and staff,WOW,youve actually learned NOTHING!!!PLEASE WAKE UP,we have snow clearing equipment broke down and this is the main worry?WOW..Actually thought you were smarter.

  • david
    January 05, 2014 - 16:44

    Disregarding any need or justification for springing this on everyone...that's a whole 'nudder ting.....the Pender won't have much trouble finding about 65% of the budgeted cost for this's by far the best quality he has, finding "free" government money. Trouble is that the remaining 35% of the budgeted cost, then the 15 or 20% cost overrun, then the ongoing operating costs, will all be borne by the already beleaguered, multiple-white- elephant-sports-venue-obligated CB taxpayer. But I suppose it's like running up the Visa card when you know you have about 6 months to live....frig it.

  • IAMtheJIB
    January 05, 2014 - 08:57

    I just got an email media release from the City of Corner Brook detailing excuses of how they can't plow the roads properly because they can't keep their equipment on the do they plan on paying for something like this is they can't even pay a contractor to pick up their slack with a bit of snow clearing? I didn't vote for you Mr. Pender because of your bizarre grandiose spending priorities in your last term. Seems I made the right decision.

  • tc
    January 04, 2014 - 22:23

    Once again, Mr. Spender getting big ideas..........Well blame yourselves Corner deserve everything you get since voting him back in.....what a laughable town this is.....

  • Shawn Elford
    January 04, 2014 - 19:40

    when is corner brook going to get with the times. You need to spend money to make things happen. Yes you need a new fire station and other important infrastructures to make ur city more attractive to outsiders. If not, then ur city will go further downhill and no wonder I would never move back there.

    • Llew
      January 05, 2014 - 16:16

      Exactly! My friend was going to move to Corner Brook, but after seeing the 40-year-old fire station, he cancelled his plans :(

  • Paul
    January 04, 2014 - 19:31

    The crack in the wall at the fire dept building is small when compared to the crack at city hall and it appears to be widening.

  • Leila B.
    January 04, 2014 - 19:15

    Wonderful news! The city certainly does need a new fire station and I don't mind paying a LITTLE extra in taxes so that we get it. Public Works is getting a new one so why not the Fire Department.

  • dave
    January 04, 2014 - 18:36

    penders back...needs a new palace

  • George Alteen
    January 04, 2014 - 13:56

    Perhaps a new retaining wall would be the answer.This remedy would save a lot of money and my taxes would not go up.

  • david
    January 04, 2014 - 12:16

    Not a word of this "priority" during the election campaign....anyone else notice a disturbing pattern to Mr. Pender's take on democratic leadership, and his penchant for big-ticket, completely deceptive agenda items? Or maybe this building simply became 'obsolete' since September...

    • Henry
      January 05, 2014 - 12:56

      Ya I think Mr. Pender has dusted off his play book from the last time he was Mayor. Spend spend spend...... Doesn't he get it we don't have the funds to pay for this activity... Where is the money coming from Mr. Pender, Keith Cormier, Tony Buckle and the rest of council. You were elected on restraint issues as well.

  • Catherine Jordan
    January 04, 2014 - 11:49

    Nice to see a proactive approach to governance rather than a reactive one. From the Mayor's comments it seems that the discussions have had a wide scope.

  • John
    January 04, 2014 - 10:00

    How will we pay for this Mayor Pender? Do you have tax hikes in mind? We want to know how it will be paid for.