Steady Brook could really use a new fire truck, but a building to house it in is more of an immediate priority.
On the heels of a slew of new fire trucks announced for other municipalities in the province last week, some may have thought the big capital works announcement for Steady Brook Monday afternoon was going to be a new truck too.
Instead, Premier Tom Marshall announced $1.6 million in funding to go towards a new municipal building. Under the capital works cost-sharing agreement the provincial government has with towns the size of Steady Brook, the government will foot 90 per cent of the bill for the new building and the town will contribute the remaining 10 per cent.
The building will house the town’s fire hall and its maintenance garage.
Mayor Peter Rowsell said there is a practical reason why the town didn’t get its fire truck first.
“We are on the verge of needing a new fire truck, but the new trucks just won’t fit in the hall we have anyway,” said Rowsell.
The town’s volunteer fire department is currently situated in the lower portion of the community hall on Wilton Street. The maintenance garage is in the town office building further down the road.
The new building will be built a little further up Wilton Street, towards the Trans-Canada Highway. Town council has not decided what side of the street it will be built on, but Rowsell is not too concerned about settling that issue in due course.
“It won’t be a problem because the terrain is the same, so it doesn’t matter what side,” said the mayor.
The new building was something the previous council had worked on and Rowsell said his council is glad to finally see it become a reality.
“We’ve been a while looking for this, but we had to wait until we could get the amount of money we needed to do it properly,” he said.
Marshall said he has been trying to keep his word about sharing the province’s prosperity through the string of recent funding announcements his government has been making.
“The good thing is the design work (for the building in Steady Brook) is already under way and I’m looking forward to seeing the project completed,” he told those gathered at the town hall for the announcement.
The premier also hoped the building funding was announced in time for the town to award the construction contract and get the job on the ground started as soon as possible.
Whether it gets done this year or next, Rowsell said it’s still great news for Steady Brook.
“I’m not sure if it will happen this year, but at least we know now that it will happen,” he said.
Besides replacing its 31-year-old pumper truck, Steady Brook is still hoping for the province’s help in updating much of its firefighting equipment. Maybe that wish will get granted in next year’s round of capital funding, said the mayor.
“We realize a lot of other towns need money too,” said Rowsell.
“The time will come when we will definitely need a new fire truck, but I guess we will have to wait for the money to become available. There’s no point to get any of this stuff until we get the building to put it in.”
The Town of Steady Brook will be getting a new municipal building, thanks to a $1.6-million funding announcement from the provincial government Monday.
Premier Tom Marshall, whose district of Humber East includes Steady Brook, was in town to make the announcement on behalf of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Kent.
The project, which was on the town’s capital works wish list in the budget it brought down in December, will be cost-shared with the province covering 90 per cent of the price tag.
The new building will contain space for the town’s volunteer fire department and its maintenance staff. The fire department currently operates in the downstairs of the town hall, while the maintenance operations are based out of the town office.
The new building will be constructed just up the street from the town hall on Wilton Drive, close to the Trans-Canada Highway.