LITTLE CURRENT – The Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands (Northeast Town) Fire Department will be moving its Little Current fire hall to a new home in the coming weeks.
“Council has approved the purchase of 88 Vankoughnet Street East,” Northeast Town CAO Dave Williamson told The Expositor.
This is a project that has been in the works for some months, but due to title issues, has been on hold until now. Mr. Williamson said the purchase would be imminent. “Once that’s done, the old fire hall will be put out to tender,” he added.
This is the first time in the fire department’s history that a hall will not be located at Meredith and Worthington streets. According to the book ‘Reflections of Little Current, Howland and Vicinity,’ the original fire hall dated back to the 1800s and by the 1970s, was deemed too small. Plans for a new fire hall, designed by Don Prescott, were made and construction began. The current fire hall was opened in May of 1978.
The new location is “substantially bigger,” Mr. Williamson said, noting it was two or three times the size of the current Meredith Street location. The increase in size will also allow for newer fire trucks, which are built higher than older models, to fit in the bay. The original fire hall would have required a substantial rebuild to accommodate any new trucks, which they one day hope to have.
The 2020 budget includes $400,000 toward the purchase of 88 Vankoughnet Street East. “The old fire hall will be put out to tender and we anticipate a substantial offset from that,” Mr. Williamson said.
No work is required on the new building, but the fire chief will install metal cladding on the inside of the Vankoughnet Street East structure. Thirty thousand dollars has been set aside in the 2020 budget for that work.