The Saskatoon Fire Department wants to relocate an existing station, rather than build a new one to serve the Stonebridge neighbourhood.
Fire Chief Morgan Hackl discussed the proposal at a press briefing on Wednesday.
Originally, a new station had been planned for Melville Street. But Hackl said studies showed this was not an efficient use of money.
The Saskatoon Fire Department is working toward a standard of responding to 90 per cent of calls within four minutes. Hackl said Stonebridge can be brought in line with the standard by moving Fire Station No. 3 from its current location at Taylor Street and York Avenue to a new building on Clarence Avenue South.
Hackl said the relocation of station 3 to a new building would likely cost around $6 million. He said that would be offset by $6 million in savings from not building the Melville Street station. Hackl said the plan would also save a further $2 million per year in operating costs.
The proposed station on Clarence Avenue would be built on land that would be purchased from St. Martin’s United Church for $500,000. Rev. Michael Webster said the congregation had previously voted not to sell any land, but made an exception for the fire department due to the community service it provides.
Hackl noted the proposed new station would have bookable space for community functions and could play host to events like car seat clinics and other health and wellness initiatives.
The proposal goes to the city’s standing policy committee on finance on Monday. If it’s approved at committee, the plan will go to a full city council vote on June 27.
Hackl said construction on the Clarence Avenue station would likely start in the spring of 2017, with completion expected in 2018. If the plan is approved, he said they would likely move to sell off land earmarked for the Melville Street station, but it would be some time before they could decide what to do with the old station 3 location.