Rigaud fire station construction officially begins


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois breaks the ceremonial ground June 27 at the locale of the Town of Rigaud’s new fire station scheduled to open in 2017.

Gusting winds and the threat of rain did not deter Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois from officially turning the sod for the new fire station in Rigaud on Monday, June 27. “It is with great pride that I am here to mark the beginning of the construction of a new fire hall for Rigaud. I would like to take this opportunity to announce in the name of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy Martin Coiteux, financial aid in the amount of $1,458,350,” Charlebois announced.

She emphasized the importance of partnership between the provincial and municipal governments in bringing well-planned projects to fruition. “This project will support economic development and improve the quality of life for Rigaud residents,” she added. Charlebois noted the grant is provided through Quebec government programs dedicated to supporting municipal infrastructure projects. (Programme d’infrastructures Québec-Municipalités PIQM, and Réfection et construction des infrastructures municipales RECIM). The total budget for the completed project is $2.9 million with the rest of the money coming from funds budgeted by the town. Charlebois thanked Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. and town councillors for creating what she called a well-planned project.

“We are really happy that you and the government of Québec have provided Rigaud with the grant for this project,” responded Mayor of Rigaud Hans Gruenwald Jr. adding, “This new building is necessary because we have a great need for space.” The mayor described how the 14,000 square feet of space would serve the fire protection, emergency, and public safety needs of the community for the next 50 years.

The two-storey structure will have an eight-door garage, administrative offices, workshop, mezzanine, kitchen and multi-purpose meeting space. “This fire station is adapted to our reality,” Gruenwald said, adding the project was created by consulting with the people that would be using it, namely the fire fighters and public security officers. With construction anticipated to begin in the next few days, the fire station is slated to open in 2017.

Fire Department Director Benoît Jetté was more than happy with the announcement. “This is more than a ceremony - it’s really the beginning of construction,” he said with a smile. The new building will be located at the west end of Rigaud on the recently named Jules-A.-Desjardins Street. The property is also home to the former tourist information center. Jetté explained that the new building would occupy the picnic area facing St-Jean-Baptiste Street West.

“There are many suggestions for the building and it has a lot of potential,” said Jetté in reference to the center. At one point it was considered for use in the current fire station project as a possible training area but its configuration and dimensions did not meet the needs Jetté said.

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