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NDIP presents its fire station plans

By Jules-Pierre Malartre



PHOTO COURTESY VILLE DE NOTRE-DAME-DE-L’ÎLE-PERROT

The Town of Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot will be getting a new fire station which will be centrally located on Don-Quichotte Boulevard near the intersection of Saint-Joseph.


On April 27, The City of Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot (NDIP) held an information session for its residents regarding its fire station project.

NDIP does not currently own firefighting installations and is relying on neighboring L’Île-Perrot’s firefighting services as per a longstanding agreement between the two cities. As previously reported by The Journal in April, 2019, a gap between the visions of the two cities on the future of firefighting services has been growing and as the current agreement is about to expire in September 2021, NDIP has announced it is moving ahead with its plans to build its own fire station.

Location

Location is one of the prime considerations for the planned fire station as the need to reduce response time has been strongly underlined. In 2019, a report submitted by Gordon Routley, an independent fire prevention and safety expert hired by NDIP, stated the current location of the L’Île-Perrot fire station in a high-traffic area was too remote to serve the needs of NDIP. Cutting down response time was therefore a prime consideration in the selection of the three possible sites suggested for the fire station at that time.

NDIP announced it had selected a location at the corner of Don-Quichotte and Saint-Joseph Boulevards. The city supported its decision by saying it was a centralized location and that it already belonged to the city. “The land was purchased by the city and the objective was to build a fire station there. This was at least 16 years ago,” said Mayor Danie Deschênes who added the plan was still as sound today as it was back when the land was purchased.

The city presented preliminary drawings and plans for the fire station. The entrance and exit for the trucks will be located on Don-Quichotte. “The reason for this is very simple,” Deschênes said. “There is more traffic on Don Quichotte, but there is a highly frequented cycling path on Saint-Joseph, so we did not want to add an additional safety concern by putting the exit there.”


PHOTO COURTESY VILLE DE NOTRE-DAME-DE-L’ÎLE-PERROT



Partnership with Pincourt

Director of Pincourt firefighting services Yanick Bernier said the city had already ordered two fire trucks, adding both trucks would have a combined capacity of 4,000 gallons of water to meet the firefighting needs of locations not covered by the aqueduct network.

Mayor Deschênes went over the major stakes of the firefighting efforts for NDIP, including the council’s desire for cooperation regarding the long-term vision for a single firefighting service on Île-Perrot. She said the town of L’Île-Perrot had refused to maintain the current agreement and that it would therefore come to an end on September 6 of this year. Deschênes added that Pincourt and NDIP had come to an agreement regarding firefighting services for the two cities. “The councils of Pincourt and Notre-Dame are on the same wavelength,” Deschênes said. Both cities will operate a fire station under Yanick Bernier’s leadership. Deschênes thanked the Pincourt Council for its open approach during the process with NDIP.

Cost

Deschênes said the cost of the fire station is estimated at $3.9 million. An additional investment of $2.3 million is required to purchase fire trucks and other vehicles and onboard equipment. Other costs, including hoses, uniforms, breathing apparatus as well as the interior layout and equipment for the station will cost approximately $200,000. The city’s borrowing by-laws for the project are presently based on planned costs, but the fluctuating costs of materials due to many factors, including COVID-19, might mean costs could be firmed up in future. Total cost is estimated to be around $8,135,298. “We are very aware that this is an important expenditure,” Deschênes said. “It’s part of our long-term vision.” Deschênes stressed this cost would not have to be shouldered by residents over one year. A loan over a period of 25 years will be secured for the building, and a 20-year loan will be taken for the fire trucks. Deschênes went into details over the borrowing decisions regarding the remaining material and equipment. Some of the equipment will not be procured through a borrowing by-law, but will be purchased using the city’s reserve funds.

Taxation impact

“You will see that over 10 years, 20 years and 25 years, it will be regressive,” Deschênes explained regarding repayment of the total loans. “When we finish repaying the first loan, we will have a smaller amount left to reimburse on a yearly basis.” She said the impact per household will be $96 per year over the next 25 years. “We consider the financial scheme is responsible and takes into account the evolving nature of the city’s population.”

Deschênes added the city welcomes 45 new homes per year. “Those homes will obviously help reach our objective, and hopefully help diminish the impact on residents.” She said the plan was to meet the city’s firefighting needs while minimizing the cost as much as possible for residents. Operating costs are estimated to be $1.2 million per year. The average operating cost under the agreement with L’Île-Perrot was $932,000, which corresponds to a $4.50 taxation increase per resident. Deschênes said the addition of preventive services and 24/7 support made the additional slight cost a great deal.

Firefighters

Sébastien Nantel, resident of NDIP and member of L’Île-Perrot firefighting’s team also asked if NDIP firefighters would have to be residents of the city. Response time being the main stake for the firefighting team, the city feels that firefighters assigned to the fire station would have to live as close as possible and that given the centralized location of the fire station, the city would certainly hire NDIP resident firefighters.




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