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Fire hall clears another city hurdle, one more to go

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The relocation of Station No. 11 on Berry Street was given the green light by a city committee last week.


Councillors unanimously approved closing part of the west side of Century Street north of Portage Avenue, at the Assiniboia community committee Tues., July 12, essentially giving the fire department the go-ahead to proceed with construction.


The request will go before the mayor’s executive policy committee and then to city council on Wed., July 20, before council prorogues for the summer.


Councillors Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands), Grant Nordman (St. Charles), and Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) sit on the committee.


The new $4 million, 12,000-sq. ft. station will be built on two acres of land in the northwest corner of the cloverleaf next to the St. James Hotel. The location was chosen based on computer models and historical response time data, and will feature four drive-thru style bay doors.


Reid Douglas, deputy chief for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, said it was the best location to enable firefighters to respond within four to five minutes of calls into north River Heights, St. James west to Whytewold Road, and the West End east to Arlington Street.


Last year, Station No. 11 responded to roughly 2,800 calls, or about eight per day.


It will be designated as a "core area" station, meaning it will serve the downtown area as well as St. James and River Heights, and will be equipped to handle hazardous materials and technical rescue.


New emergency lights will stop traffic on Portage Avenue when vehicles are responding to a call.


Douglas said he expects the concrete for the new hall to be poured before fall, with construction continuing through winter. The building, or at least a majority of it, must be complete by March 31, 2012, to be eligible for federal funding that’s been committed to the project.


Twenty-two trees will removed during construction, although the fire department plans to replace those and add 52 new trees add 130 shrubs around the site.

matt.preprost@canstarnews.com

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