This page was last reviewed on March 23, 2021.
March 2021 Update
The new fire hall will become operational over the weekend of March 27-28, 2021.
February 2021 Update
The new Fire Hall is nearing completion. Inspection is scheduled for February 16-19, 2021. Outstanding work includes phone, data, and communication setup, equipment testing and commissioning, and housecleaning before the hall can become operational.
October 2020 Update
The roof is 90% complete but there will be spots that will need to be worked on when HV systems and plumbing and some electrical holes cut in roof.
Plumbing and electrical has begun.
The project is now waiting for delivery of the doors and 48 windows. Once they arrive and are installed things will pick up again with wiring and siding.
April 6, 2020 Update
This week Cumberland is celebrating the start of construction of the community’s new fire hall on Cumberland Road. While the COVID-19 pandemic presents some challenges for the project, the Village is working closely with its partner contractors with the priority being the health and safety of all workers as the project proceeds.
In December 2019, the community approved borrowing of $4.2 to build the new fire hall. Construction contracts have all come in within budget and projections show that the project will be completed within the total $4.2 million budget approved by the community.
“The fire hall has been slated for replacement for over 20 years, and I am very proud to see this project begin on budget,” said Mayor Leslie Baird. “Building this new fire hall will not only help keep our families safe from fire and other emergencies, it will also help fulfil our responsibility to keep our volunteer firefighters safe.”
The new fire hall will resolve significant operational safety and structural issues at the existing facility, and will have the capacity to house modern equipment and space for safe personnel and apparatus preparation during a fire response. The post-disaster building will also serve as Cumberland’s emergency operations centre with the new building designed to withstand higher seismic forces that non-post disaster buildings.
The $4.2 million cost will be funded through borrowing, resulting in an increase in taxes for capital debt repayment and operating costs for the fire protection service. It is estimated this will result in a $142 per year increase on Cumberland’s average-priced home ($431,847) based on borrowing for a 20-year term at 4 per cent interest. 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.
February 28, 2020 Update
The Fire Hall tender call closed January 23, 2020 and work is now underway to award all sub-trade tenders. Cumberland Council authorized the award of two significant tenders, one for excavation and site preparation and another for plumbing, HVAC and fire suppression systems, at its meeting on February 24, 2020.
December 17, 2019 Update
The alternate approval process (AAP) has given Cumberland Council the elector approval required to adopt a bylaw to borrow up to $4.2 million to construct a new Fire Hall. If less than 10 per cent of electors submitted a form, the bylaw can be adopted. In this case, 57 people returned forms, below the 310 (10 per cent) threshold. Council adopted Fire Hall Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1122, 2019 on December 16, 2019. After a 30 day quashing period, the Village will apply to the Province of BC for a certificate of approval for the bylaw. The tender call for trades for the fire hall construction closes on January 23, 2020.
December 10, 2019 Update
Here are some recent questions the Village has received about the fire hall project:
Q. Can I email or fax an AAP form to the Village?
A. No. In order to be counted in the alternate approval process (AAP), the Village must receive the form with the original signature by 4:30 pm on December 13, 2019. Forms are received in confidence by the Corporate Officer.
Q. Where can I find more information on the AAP process?
A. The AAP process is authorized for local government by the Province of BC. You can find more information from the Province.
Q. What procurement process was used to select the contractor for this project?
A. The Village issued a public request for proposal for Fire Hall Pre-Construction and Construction Management Services in June 2018. The RFP has been removed from our website (we remove bid documents after a certain amount of time) but the link exists to the documents on BC Bid, which is a Provincial site that municipalities are required to post procurement requests over certain value thresholds. The Village has a strong procurement policy that you can view on our Bids and Tender Page https://cumberland.ca/bids/ . If you scroll down you will find the link to the BC Bid link for the fire hall project from 2018.
Q. What guarantees are in place to prevent cost overruns?
A. The detailed budget approved by Council is $4.2 million and that is the amount authorized by the proposed Loan Authorization Bylaw that is subject to the elector approval process. If the elector approval is granted, and the competitive tender processes are complete, the Village would enter into contracts for construction. The process selected by the Village in utilizing MKM and tendering as we have, will reduce typical cost overruns and provide security in subcontractor bid pricing. The contractor has actually demonstrated his ability to deliver projects on budget, and why they were selected. Any increases to the budget would have to be approved by Council at a public meeting. Any additional long term debt would have to receive elector assent.
Q. Why are emergency services (ambulance, fire, police) not being co-located at the site?
A. The Village had discussions BC Emergency Health Services in 2018 to lease ambulance space in the proposed facility, as well as discussions with the Comox Valley Search and Rescue organization to house CV Search and Rescue (currently housed with the Comox Valley Emergency Program facility in Courtenay). BC Emergency Health Services has a lease for its current ambulance station in Cumberland in place until 2021 and was unwilling to explore the proposal at that time. Regarding a local RCMP detachment, it is our understanding the RCMP will continue to have a single detachment for the Comox Valley and there are no plans to locate a detachment in Cumberland.
Q. Will the training facilities and meeting room facilities be available for use by the public?
A. The training /emergency operations centre room has been designed for public use with external doors accessing the back parking lot. The room is accessible and has one accessible washroom- the design was referred to the Village’s Accessibility Committee earlier this year. The policy around public use/access has not yet been determined.
Q. Is the 2020 increase an additional amount above what is already paid?
A. The $170 for the 2020 tax increase is for the average SF residential home (based on an assessment value of $431,000) and it is over and above the taxes that you are already paying in 2019.
Q. Why is the burden of paying for the fire hall screwed so highly towards commercial owners (especially when you account for difference in assessed value)?
A. The commercial tax rates are 2.93 times the residential rates for the Village in 2019. This is typical for municipalities to at least double the residential rate for commercial properties and quite often it’s greater than 3 times.
Q. How many commercial customers are there vs residential?
A. Confirmed numbers to date from BC Assessment is that there are 97 commercial properties (class 6) and there are 1619 residential properties (class 1).
An open house was held on November 18, 2019 on the proposed fire hall project. View the open house information boards on
- the failing fire hall
- the alternate approval process for borrowing funds
- costs for residents
- features of the new design
Frequently Asked Questions on the Fire Hall project.
Find out more in the November 2019 Newsletter.
If you oppose the borrowing of $4.2 million to construct a new fire hall, sign an AAP form and submit the original to the Village office by 4:30 pm on Friday, December 13, 2019.
October 28, 2019 update – Alternate Approval Process for Loan Authorization Bylaw NO. 1122, 2019
Notice of the alternative approval process (AAP) to seek elector assent to borrow $4.2 million to construct a new fire hall in 2020 will be published on November 5 and November 12, 2019. View the statutory notice.
The Council may proceed with the adoption of “Fire Hall Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1122, 2019” unless by December 13, 2019 at least 310 electors, which is 10% of the electors of the Village of Cumberland, indicate that the Council must obtain the assent of the electors before proceeding. The approval process applies to the entire Village of Cumberland.
This project will result in an increase in taxes for capital debt repayment and operating costs for the fire protection service. For a residence with average assessment of $431,847, the financial impact is estimated to be $142 per year for a 20 year debt term at a 4% interest rate. The impact on a commercial property with median assessment of $306,150 is estimated to be $294 per year for a 20 year debt term at a 4% interest rate.
Elector responses must be given in the form established by the Council. You can also pick up copies of the AAP form at the Village office. Forms will be considered to be supplied in confidence to Rachel Parker, Corporate Officer, who may be reached directly at 250-336-3005.
September 11, 2019 update
On September 9, 2019, Cumberland Council gave three readings to a bylaw which would authorize the borrowing of $4.2 million to construct the new fire hall at 4382 Cumberland Road in 2020.
Council will be seeking the approval of the Cumberland electors through an alternate approval process (AAP), which is sometimes known as a counter petition. The AAP process is expected to begin in late-October 2019. Electors will have at least 30 days to indicate their opposition to the borrowing in writing.
View Fire Hall Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1122, 2019 at third reading.
Council Presentation – January 28, 2019
The design consultant will present the detailed design and public feedback at the Council meeting of January 28, 2019 at 5:30 pm. Find out more in the meeting agenda.
Fire Hall Design Open House
January 9, 2019
Everyone is welcome to attend the Fire Hall design open house on
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 from 6 to 9 pm
Council Chambers at 2675 Dunsmuir Avenue (beside the current fire hall)
Presentations on the design will take place at 6:15 pm and 7:30 pm.
Some detailed designs are available here and more plans will be available at the open house.
Highlights of the new fire hall design include
- overall 11,580 square foot building area
- potential for future apparatus bay expansion
- fire department historical display
- granular parking area at rear (permeable)
- raingardens and bioswales for stormwater management
- bicycle parking, electrical vehicle parking and reserved parking for people with disabilities
- tree and landscaping buffers
- hard and soft landscaping for pedestrian connectivity
You can provide your feedback at the open house and by email to the Village at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 10, 2019. Feedback will be provided to the consultant MKM Projects Ltd. and summarized at a presentation at the Council meeting on January 28, 2019.
In August 2018, the Village engaged MKM Projects to develop a detailed design for the new fire hall. Watch for neighbourhood and community consultation through the winter and early spring of 2019.
In June 2016, a 2.5 acre parcel was purchased at 4382 Cumberland Road, between Primose and Kendall Avenue, for the site of a new fire hall. A conceptual design has been reviewed to develop a preliminary budget. In the meantime, the site will be used as a staging area for summer road construction in the Village.
In 2018, the Village is expected to proceed with the fire hall design. Construction may take place as early as 2020.
Approximately $4 million is budgeted for fire hall construction from reserves, amenity funds and from borrowing.Search again