At its meeting on Nov. 18, the board of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) voted to award a contract for the design and construction of a new fire hall in Loon Lake, with a maximum price of $1,264,120.
The contract was awarded to West Alliance Construction Ltd., which submitted the only proposal that met all the Request for Proposal (RFP) specifications and requirements.
The Loon Lake fire hall was destroyed in the 2017 wildfires, and the Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department has been operating out of a two-bay garage on the site of the former hall ever since.
Following a referendum in 2018, the TNRD assumed fire protection services for Loon Lake, and last year announced that it had secured a 30-year Crown Lease for a 2.64 acre site that was formerly part of Loon Lake Provincial Park.
The TNRD applied to have the property re-designated from parkland to commercial use, and the plan was for the new fire hall to be constructed to the north of Loon Lake Road, away from the lakefront. The site is located approximately halfway along Loon Lake, within eight kilometres of the most populous areas of the community, and the design of the new hall fit the property, which has a slope, as well as a good deal of overburden that needed to be removed.
This is the second time that an RFP has been issued for the construction of a new fire hall at Loon Lake. Earlier this year a first RFP resulted in a lowest bid of just under $1.6 million. The West Alliance Construction bid of just under $1.3 million is more in line with what the TNRD was expecting when it first issued the request.
Residents in the area have approved borrowing approximately $650,000 for the new hall. In 2018 Fraserway RV, through the Adventurer Foundation, committed $275,000 towards the construction of a new fire hall in Loon Lake, a project that the TNRD estimated at the time would cost approximately $500,000. There have also been other, smaller, public donations for the project, as well as savings that primarily consist of the cash transferred to the TNRD by the Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department Society when the TNRD assumed control of the service. Electoral Area “E” has also allocated $150,000 as a grant from Community Assistance reserves.
However, the TNRD notes that some of these funds have been spent already for initial design work, property preparation, and other costs associated with the project.
There is no proposed timeline for construction and completion of the new fire hall.