Third fire hall proposed for Shawnigan

Firefighter Monica Vermette sharpens an axe at the main Shawnigan Lake hall. - Peter W. Rusland/file
Firefighter Monica Vermette sharpens an axe at the main Shawnigan Lake hall.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland/file

A proposed third fire hall to service Shawnigan Lake is considered a win/win by members of the Shawnigan Improvement District.

Chairman Keith Shields explained the additional hall will lower insurance rates for residents, while the increased coverage the hall provides will add to the tax base, keeping the cost to homeowners at a minimum.

“Through a fire services review, it was determined that our travel distance to the south end of the district was in excess of the eight-kilometre mandate,” Shields said.

So the Shawnigan Improvement District, which oversees the area’s fire services through the Shawnigan Lake Volunteer Fire Department, found a piece of property on Sooke Lake Road and is currently undergoing the approval process for a third hall.

“It will give us a lot more power, and also drop the insurance rates in the south end of Shawnigan significantly, because they’ll be within eight kilometres of a fire station,” Shields said.

“The tax increase is going to be really minimal because it’s amortized over 20 years,” he added. “It’s so minimal I’d say people won’t even notice in on their tax bill, because of the added tax base (from the additional homes the fire department will serve).”

The project is currently in the middle of the alternate approval process, which means the new hall is a go unless 10 per cent of impacted residents — about 531 landowners — petition it.

If approved, Shawnigan Improvement District trustees will borrow up to $2 million to purchase the land, build the hall, and equip it with two trucks.

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