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MD to move ahead with fire hall in Fort Macleod

The MD of Willow Creek will go ahead with a facility in Fort Macleod that will be a fire hall, grader storage and wash bay.
The Town of Fort Macleod will pay back the MD of Willow Creek for its share of the fire hall over time.
The capacity will also be built in for the town to add on a public works shop when money is available.
MD of Willow Creek council on April 20 discussed the joint-facility and a recent meeting it had with members of Fort Macleod council.
MD of Willow Creek chief administrative officer Cynthia Vizzutti reported on that meeting to council. She said Fort Macleod was very appreciative of the municipal building proposal.
However, the town is in a position where it has committed to constructing a multi-million-dollar water and sewer line to the police college scheduled to be built in Fort Macleod.
“They would love to throw in with us and build a new public works facility,” Vizzutti said, but the town doesn’t have the estimated $3-million to $4-million to put into the facility.
The town asked what would the initial cost to the town be if the grader shed, wash bay and fire hall is built and the town builds the rest later.
Fort Macleod council also wondered what is the value if the town contributes the land and water and sewer line for the project.
Fort Macleod council also wondered if the MD of Willow Creek would build the fire hall, wash bay and grader storage, financing the town’s portion.
Vizzutti suggested the best deal now could be the town providing the land and water and sewer line, with the MD of Willow Creek building the fire hall, grader storage and wash bay.
Vizzutti noted the project is revenue neutral to the MD of Willow Creek tax base, as it will be funded by provincial and federal government grants.
The estimated cost is $3-million for the fire hall, $1-million for the grader storage and $300,000 for the wash bay.
Coun. Phil Wakelin said the town is prepared to have the MD of Willow Creek build the fire hall now and pay the MD back later.
Vizzutti cautioned if MD of Willow Creek council is not prepared to build the fire hall now, the funding would have to be put into another capital project, such as a building or roads.
Any road construction would require another road study.
Wakelin also pointed out the police college will increase the demand on the fire hall, and a new fire hall is a benefit to rural users because historically there are more fire calls in the rural area than the town, although that has evened out recently.
Coun. Glen Alm suggested an agreement be reached with the town on the term for paying back the MD of Willow Creek.
Coun. Neil Wilson said Fort Macleod’s tax base will also increase enough to pay back the MD of Willow Creek once the police college comes.
Council approved its budget which includes the funding for construction of the fire hall, grader storage and wash bay in Fort Macleod, and it was indicated there will be further discussion with the town.

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