The Township of Rideau Lakes has determined that Lombardy will be the new location for Fire Station 2, which was lost to a fire in December 2021. Specifically, the Township has entered into an agreement to acquire a 5-acre parcel near the corner of Highway 15 and Otter Lake Road.
Council had previously engaged an independent consultant to assess the current and future needs of the community and determine the optimal area to locate a redeveloped Fire Station. The selected parcel is located within 7km of the highest scoring area, along the Highway 15 corridor.
The location of Fire Stations is a complex matter that must take into account the current and future needs of the community. South Elmsley hosts significant residential subdivision growth and higher-risk highway commercial development. Currently, the majority of the ward is serviced through an automatic aid agreement with Smiths Falls, which costs the Township over $70,000 annually.
The new station location in Lombardy will result in an even distribution of Fire Stations across the Township, with one located in each ward. Current sites in North Crosby, Elgin and Delta will not change under this decision.
The village of Portland is centrally located between the new station and the Delta and Elgin Stations and will continue to be effectively serviced.
Mayor Hoogenboom remarked “Rideau Lakes is a very large rural municipality at 750km2. Today’s decision is another example of our commitment to strategic decision making with a long-term and fiscally responsible lens.” He continued, “This decision will provide a balanced approach to Fire and Rescue response locations across the entire municipality.
Fire Chief Scott Granahan remarked, “The feedback regarding the new station location from firefighters has been extremely positive. This site will also allow more community members from the South Elmsley ward and surrounding area to consider joining the department and serving our community.”
Now that a location has been selected, the work to design the new Station in preparation for a tender release later in 2022 will commence immediately. It is anticipated that construction will commence in the spring of 2023.
All three Station vehicles lost in the fire have now been replaced and are operational. The Township’s insurance has covered the full replacement cost of the vehicles and associated Station equipment. The new Station will be covered by insurance on a full-replacement-cost basis. Enhancements to the station building beyond those required to meet modern codes will be the responsibility of the Township, and will be assessed and determined as part of the detailed design process this summer.