MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has approved the new Carstairs/Mountain View County Joint Fire Hall Co-ownership agreement. The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.
The county and the Town of Carstairs are jointly funding the construction of the new multi-million dollar Carstairs fire hall, which is currently being built just east of Highway 2A in the town.
In June, Mountain View County council formally approved a $2 million contribution toward the hall project. Once in operation the hall will service the Town of Carstairs and the surrounding Carstairs Rural Fire District.
“At that time council noted that if additional specifications were needed or further expense that exceeded the $4 million budget of the facility, that the county would be comfortable in decreasing its total percentage to under 50 per cent to align with its contribution towards the final project cost,” the county's chief administrative officer, Jeff Holmes, said in a briefing note to council.
Since that time, Town of Carstairs administration has finalized the project scope and Eagle Builders has undertaken further geotechnical studies, which has resulted in a final project budget of $4.26 million, which would result in an ownership split of 47 per cent for the county and 53 per cent for the Town of Carstairs, he said.
The new joint agreement reflects the ownership responsibilities of both parties, outlines the role of the inter-municipal collaboration committee (ICC)) to deal with future capital expenses related to the project, and lays a framework for the Town of Carstairs to be the managing partner of the facility, he said.
The new agreement parallels the current agreement between the county and the Town of Didsbury for the fire hall facility in that town, with the county having 44 per cent of ownership.
The new county-Carstairs agreement sets the county’s ownership interest in the new hall at 47 per cent and the Town of Carstairs' at 53 per cent.
The agreements financial contribution section states, in part, that, “The co-owners acknowledge that financial contributions, in excess of the annual fire budget, may be required from time to time in connection with the ownership of the lands, whether such contributions are required to maintain or develop the said lands or otherwise, and each co-owner shall advance in proportion to its ownership interest such financial contributions as recommended by the ICC.”
The agreement also sets out the usage of the building, including that other than the Carstairs Fire Department, “no other utilization of the building will be allowed which has the effect of displacing the Town of Carstairs Fire Department.”
The current Carstairs fire hall will be repurposed by the municipality for other town uses, officials say.