The Village of Ashcroft has been awarded $688,000 in federal funding to renovate the village’s 63-year-old fire hall.
The funding, provided through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, will allow the village to upgrade the 3,000-sq. ft hall, which had been built as a joint museum/fire hall in 1958, and adjoining equipment bay to bring them up to more usable status and legal code. The village had applied for the grant earlier this year.
“We’re obviously very excited. That’s a lot of money for a fire hall,” said Mayor Barbara Roden. “It’s going to extend the life of the hall for several years.”
The grant proposal said the upgrades would include everything from repairing the roof and installing a new generator to replacing the ceiling in the hall, relocating the washers and drying station, building new men’s and women’s washrooms with shower facilities, and installing a hydrant and asphalt area at the rear of the truck bay for a truck wash area.
It also suggested bumping out the side wall of the truck bay to construct a hose drying area with racks and relocate the equipment lockers. At the moment the truck bay area is too crowded with the new larger fire trucks, storage, and dressing area. The grant funding stream provides for retrofits, repairs, and upgrades to local government buildings, including fire halls. The upgrades are estimated to cost $700,000.
Brad Vis, MP for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, said the funding will ensure the fire hall meets seismic requirements and improve emergency response times.
“The Ashcroft fire hall has not been updated since the 1990s,” Vis said in a media release. “It serves as the hub for fire prevention and control for the region year-round, and is especially busy during the wildfire season.
“It was crucial that we obtain funding to upgrade aging infrastructure to protect the safety of our firefighters and residents. With wildfire season upon us in B.C., we are acutely aware of how important investments in local fire services are to support the career and volunteer crews.”
The department responded to 30 calls last year, down from the usual 50, and did 80 inspections.