Skip to content

Town eyes library for new fire hall location

The current site of the Innisfail Library could soon be home to a very different kind of public service department after the completion of new library this summer.

The current site of the Innisfail Library could soon be home to a very different kind of public service department after the completion of new library this summer.

The Mary Morton Building, which currently houses the library and the arts and crafts centre, may soon be the Mary Morton fire hall.

The relocation has not yet been finalized, but Innisfail town council is currently looking at the feasibility of the fire department taking over the site.

The possibility of relocating the fire hall was brought up through the facility optimization plan that was commissioned by town council.

The plan was completed by an architect and engineering firm and takes a close look at how to best utilize municipal facilities. It outlines how existing facilities can be used or if they would be better sold.

After viewing the optimization plan, council found that selling the building would not be very profitable as it is an aging building, said Innisfail CAO Helen Dietz.

The new location would feature drive through bays and would have enough room for three bays as opposed to the two bays the fire department currently has at the town office.

They would also have room for a training area in the upstairs of the building as well as office space and a common area. All are features that the fire department does not currently have.

Innisfail fire chief John Syroid said the plans to move the fire hall sound very good.

“I think it’s absolutely great. It will definitely be an asset to the department.”

The fire hall was last renovated at the town office location in the mid 1970s.

If the fire hall were to be relocated, the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) would also be moving from the town hall to the new location.

The next step of the project is for administration to sit down with the fire department officials to discuss how this building could fit their needs.

If the project is deemed feasible and they decide to go forward with the move, then council will also be discussing the proposal with area residents to get their feedback.

About $1.6 million has been set aside in the 2011 capital budget to go towards the relocation of the fire hall.

Moving the fire hall would also allow for the extra space needed for the growth of the town office, said Dietz.

“The town administration space is fairly tight right now, we could use some extra file and storage space, and the council chambers are in need of a little bit of renovation” said Dietz.

Many of these upgrades will not be addressed right away and council is trying to plan the renovations of the town office to take place over a few years.

However, town officials say they are hoping to start the relocation of the fire hall before winter of 2011.