Earlier this year, Prince George City Council voted in favour of holding a referendum to allow the City of Prince George to borrow the funds necessary to replace Fire Hall #1 and the Four Seasons Leisure Pool.
Yesterday, the city launched two videos and is highlighting its referendum 2017 web page as part of an effort to ensure residents are aware of the referendum and the reasons for it.
“The City of Prince George rarely goes to referendum and never does so without a very good reason and the current state of the Four Seasons Leisure Pool, and both the state and location of Fire Hall #1 certainly provide excellent reasons,” said Kathleen Soltis, City Manager. “Through the summer and fall, the city will be providing residents with even more information so they can make fully informed choices when they mark their ballots this fall.”
Residents can visit the web page at www.princegeorge.ca/referendum and visit YouTube to view the Four Seasons Leisure Pool and Fire Hall #1 videos. The city is also adding the videos to its Facebook page.
The videos will be in rotation on Shaw TV (channel 10) starting today in Prince George.
Fire Hall #1 overview
Located next to City Hall at Seventh and Dominion, the City’s main fire hall is more than 60 years old. Over the last few years, council has received a Fire Underwriters Survey, a Standards of Cover Review, and a Condition and Functionality Assessment – all of which indicate that Fire Hall #1 is no longer suitable to meet current standards as an emergency response (fire and rescue) facility, emergency operations centre (EOC), and Fire Operations Communications Centre (FOCC).
Consistent with the Standards of Cover report, Fire Hall #1 must be moved in order to provide better response times to a greater portion of the city, primarily the southern part of the Bowl area and BCR site. As such, a replacement for Fire Hall #1 is proposed to be built on the south side of Massey, near the intersection with Carney Street.
The estimated cost to replace the firehall is $15 million.
Four Seasons Leisure Pool overview
Located across Dominion Street from Fire Hall #1, the Four Seasons Leisure Pool was built in 1970 and is nearly 50 years old. It is one of two civic pools. The other is the Aquatic Centre located in Exhibition Park.
The most recent review of the condition of the Four Seasons is the Aquatic Needs Assessment, which was completed in 2016. It identified the need for a pool replacement.
The report found that the Four Seasons is highly valued for its location and the programs it offers, but that it is nearing the end of its service life. Accessibility, especially for people with mobility challenges, is inadequate, and parts of the facility do not meet modern safety standards. In addition, the building’s structural and operating systems require significant investment beyond routine maintenance.
The replacement will cost an estimated $35 million and the project is now included within the funded portion of the proposed 2017-2021 Capital Plan.