TNRD approves $1M contract for new firehall in Monte Creek

$1M firehall contract OK'd

Work on a new firehall in Monte Creek is expected to break ground this fall at the site of a house fire that claimed the life of a man in 2021.

Tthe Thompson-Nicola Regional District board of directors on Thursday unanimously approved awarding a $1.045 million contract to West Alliance Construction Ltd. to complete the build at 1257 Hook Rd.

Detailed design plans of the firehall are planned to be completed over the summer, with construction expected to begin by about September, TNRD general manager of operations Jamie Viera told Castanet Kamloops.

The TNRD expects construction will be finished during the summer of 2025.

An acre of land is earmarked for the new firehall and was donated by the Herman family. Ed Herman died in a house fire in June 2021. Before he died, he had offered up the land to the regional district.

Prior to the fire, Monte Creek residents were required to request service from nearby fire departments in times of emergency, hoping enough resources are available for help from a neighbour.

In the case of the June 8, 2021, fire, that didn’t happen until it was too late.

A new fire protection area serving Monte Creek and Lafarge was created via referendum in 2022, and borrowing of up to $1.25 million to fund capital costs was also approved. A further $1 million was allocated from the Canada Community Building Fund.

The Monte Creek Fire Department currently operates out of the Pritchard Firehall and provides structural fire protection for 356 properties in Monte Creek, Del Oro, Lafarge and Barnhartvale.

The new firehall is expected to close the service gap between the existing Pritchard Volunteer Fire Department and the City of Kamloops boundaries.

During Thursday’s meeting Electoral Area L (Grasslands) director Doug Haughton and Area P (Rivers and the Peaks) director Lee Morris lauded the project.

“We’re gradually getting these areas some form of fire protection,” Haughton said.

“We’re almost there,” Morris said, noting the amount of work and time that has gone in to making the firehall a reality.

The TNRD issued a request for proposal in March for the firehall build and received three bids.

The proposal from West Alliance was deemed to be the best overall value for the $950,000 project budget, according to a TNRD staff report.

West Alliance also recently completed two other firehall projects for the TNRD — the Loon Lake firehall and the renovations to the McLure firehall.

The construction budget is $950,000, plus a 10 per cent contingency allocated for additional costs or add-ons that may arise during the construction process.

The total project costs allocated is $2,250,000 which includes costs outside the scope of the project such as well development, legal fees, engineering costs, furniture and equipment, and new fire engine and tender once the hall is complete.

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