An alternate approval process (AAP) has given Cumberland Council the ability to adopt a bylaw to borrow up to $4.2 million to construct a new Fire Hall for the Village of Cumberland.

The new fire hall, to be constructed on property the Village has already purchased on Cumberland Road, will resolve outstanding operational safety and structural issues at the aging existing facility. The new post-disaster building would also serve as Cumberland’s main Emergency Operations Centre.

 “We know that a new Fire Hall is critical to keeping our community safe and we’re glad to be able to move this important strategic priority forward,” said Mayor Leslie Baird. “We heard from the community that there was interest in keeping this work as cost effective as possible, and that will remain the priority moving forward.”

An AAP process (formerly known as a counter-petition) asks electors who do not support borrowing to sign and submit an ‘elector response form’ indicating their opposition. If 10 per cent of electors submit a form, the bylaw cannot be adopted. In this case, 57 people returned forms, below the 310 (10 per cent) threshold.

The $4.2 million borrowed will result in an increase in taxes for capital debt repayment and operating costs for the fire protection service. Borrowed for 20-years at 4 per cent interest, it’s estimated this will result in a $142/year increase on Cumberland’s average-priced home ($431,847). The amount will increase/decrease based on home value and interest rates. On the median commercial property this will result in a $294 increase/year.

With the funding now approved, council will consider final reading of the loan authorization bylaw and – if approved – the project team will move forward with awarding the tenders for construction, with the plan to begin work in 2020.

Leslie Baird

Mayor, Village of Cumberland