Update: Waverley West Fire Station

I will add additional context to media articles on the Waverly West fire station (CBC: Waverley West Fire Station )  – as there are many other aspects not discussed at today’s committee meeting or included in media coverage. Media was not aware of all the factors leading to the current status of the portable fire station – and I want to ensure residents have all the facts.

 

2022 BUDGET PROCESS:

  • Due to aggressive efforts, I was able to secure $3M in this 2022 budget to purchase a ‘portable fire station’ (long story on this factor alone).
  • The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service wanted a portable station to move around as they rebuild / renovate many Fire Stations in Winnipeg over the coming years.
  • The first location for the portable fire station would be in Waverley West.

There is intense pressure by myself and all of Council to ensure the Waverley West Fire Station is built in 2023.  These are key factors that have caused some delays:

 

1. NO ROAD TO ACCESS FIRE STATION: 

  • Initially – the plan was to install the portable fire station ON the site of the new recreation campus (near the schools in Bison Run) BUT this is still an open prairie field and there is no permanent road to get to the new site  (there is a temporary gravel one for construction vehicles only).
  • Engineering plans for the Bison Road extension were completed late spring and passed over to the Public Works department for review.  This is a major road extension and includes intersections and connections.
  • The extension of Bison Road (Kenaston to North Town Road) was planned to start late summer, when engineering plans for the road were completed.
  • By the time the design and reviews were complete – it was mid-summer.  This summer Winnipeg experienced much rain which delayed road construction,
  • The developer is responsible  for building the road, and we have been in constant conversation – every week – regarding if construction will start or not.
  • The decision to delay the start of the Bison extension was made late August. Starting a major road construction project late in the season would be risky as odds are the weather wouldn’t hold to enable massive excavations, construction and then paving of the road.
  • The developer WILL be extending Frontier Road and connection with the North Town Road roundabout this fall.  This section may end up being gravel and paved next season.

2. RELOCATING PORTABLE FIRE STATION TO A DIFFERENT SITE:

  • An architectural firm was hired to plan and design the new recreation campus early summer 2022. This triggered much discussions with Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services – and it was determined by Planning Department, WFPS and the architectural firm – that situating the portable station on the Recreation Campus site would not be ideal.
  • Many many construction vehicles and trades would be building the new campus and would interfere and negatively impact the functioning of the portable fire station.

3. BUILDING A PORTABLE FIRE STATION ON LEASED LAND

  • Mid-summer 2022, the Planning Department informally reached out to landowners in the Waverley West area seeking to lease a temporary fire station site for the portable station.
  • The Planning Department determined it was best to issue a formal request for proposals to lease land. This formal process is in place and being used to ensure everything is clear and transparent.
  • In 2014 or thereabouts, the Council of the day built a fire station on land it did not own. Yes, it was a handshake and the fire station was built in a shorter timeframe – but the City did not own the land, a legal battle followed, and much drama and lawsuits.
  • The City wants to ensure the entire process of leasing land for the Waverley West portable fire station is open and transparent.  The City also has land it is considering, and may have to temporarily re-zone if need be.
  • The Winnipeg Fire Paramedics also wants to finalize the size of land before the portable station is ordered to ensure the station fits the site.

4. TANKER TRUCK AVAILABLE 2023

  • The city is amalgamating two fire stations in Windsor Park / St Boniface. Station 9 (Marion Street and Panet Road) and Station 15 (Autumnwood Drive and Cottonwood Road) into a single, enhanced station which will allow the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service to deploy resources more efficiently across Winnipeg The demolition of Station 9 is occurring in April 2023
  • The tanker truck from Station 9 will be RELOCATED to Waverley West.
  • Even if the portable fire station was built this year, there is no tanker truck to place in it till spring 2023.
  • To be frank, Waverley West was not going to have access to the tanker truck till the Windsor Park / St Boniface amalgamation occurred, so – the reality is, the portable fire station will be located and built in 2023, and will have a tanker truck. Even if the portable fire station was built this year, there would be no tanker truck.

 

CALLS FOR SERVICE:

Every year I request updates on the ‘Calls for Service’ to the Waverley West ward   – I highly encourage you to review the calls for service for 2018, 2019, and 2020: SEE Calls for Service  

Waverley West is serviced by  No. 22 Station – 1567 Waverley St. and No. 23 Station – 880 Dalhousie Dr.

 

IN SUMMARY:

  • Please know I and all on Council will be aggressively working to see the portable fire station up and running in 2023.
  • I welcome questions and comments.