• James Armstrong

Rigaud fire hall project climbs the ladder toward success


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. presented sketches of the new fire hall Monday, March 14, before the regular monthly council meeting.

The new fire hall project in Rigaud took a major step forward at a special presentation Monday, March 14, before the regular monthly town council meeting began.

Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. and Directeur-Service de Sécurité incendie Benoit Jetté presented several designers’ renderings of the building exterior and a schema of its geographic location.

“We are pleased to present to you this evening the sketches for Rigaud’s new fire hall,” said the mayor of the images that are part of the proposal prepared for the town by the firm J. Dagenais Architecte & Associés. “The sketches are not exact in every detail,” said Jetté, “but they are very, very close.”

Situated on a piece of land in front of the former Tourist Information Center on Saint-Jean Baptiste West at the corner of Seguin Street, Caserne 7 will have easy access to the town via Highway 40 at Exit 9 as well as Saint-Jean Baptiste and Seguin Streets. The edifice is branded with a distinguishing large number 7 on its façade because, Jetté explained, all fire stations in the county are numbered. A third entrance/exit is planned for the future.

The mayor said a lot of time and effort has been devoted to researching the location of the new building and noted that easy access to the highway and close proximity to the industrial and residential sectors of the town were important factors. Rigaud’s public security team, including First Responders, is involved in serving neighbouring communities.

“The structure is intended to serve the needs of the town 50 years into the future,” said Jetté. Gruenwald said equipment in the current fire hall will be moved to the new location including the recently purchased kitchen stove and exhaust fan. “The building will be capable of functioning independently with its own generator,” he said.

Further confirming the project, council passed a resolution awarding the contract for the construction of the building to Montreal-based Consortium Lambda-Lainco. The cost of the project is $2,504,910 with 50 per cent of the amount coming from the Government of Québec. This falls within the town’s allotted budget for the project that previous proposals had exceeded and were rejected.

With the acceptance of the plans and the awarding of the contract, the town can now proceed to the next step of the process, Gruenwald said. That step is passing the dossier to the appropriate department of the provincial government for approval that could take 60 days. Shovels in the ground could happen sometime in August, 2016, with completion of the project in early 2017.

Questions were raised by those present about the drying tower for the fire hoses and whether or not other options had been explored. Jetté said other options required dryers powered by electricity and that they are expensive to purchase, maintain, and operate. The mayor added a resolution passed at the February, 2016, council meeting granted a minor derogation permitting the drying tower to exceed the height of the building.

The fate of the former Tourist Information Center was also raised. “We may find other uses for it as we continue to develop our town,” said Gruenwald, adding that the building could also be sold.

In other business, council expressed strong support for the recently formed Association de Baseball Rigaud with a dollar-for-dollar raised grant of up to $10,000, meaning the town will match every dollar the association raises up to that amount. “The association will serve other communities besides Rigaud,” said Gruenwald in an interview March 15, specifying Pointe-Fortune, Très-Saint-Rédempteur and Sainte-Marthe. Registration can be made online through the town’s website (www.ville.rigaud.qc.ca) or at Rigaud Town Hall, 33 Rue Saint-Jean Baptiste during regular office hours until April 15.

A series of calls for tender were authorized for repairs to the roof of L’Esc