A recent Gazette quotes Mayor Nolan Crouse as being “hot about fire costs” (Nov 28, 2009). His comments came after council reviewed an evaluation and master plan produced by a United States’ consulting firm.
Mayor Crouse will not be half as mad as our taxpayers will be when they find out that this report cost $80,000 and contained some recommendations that are just plain silly. But that’s not all — the report contains page after page of just plain historical material and statistics that we already have on hand.
This recent report, authorized by our administration, recommends the closure of Fire Hall No. 1 in Grandin, claiming “up hill grades in either direction leaving station 1.” As anyone knows who lives in Grandin, this is simply not true. Furthermore the location is ideal for reaching much of Grandin with its 50-year-plus housing and the Riel Business Park. Shifting the location to the Gate Avenue bus terminal because the station could serve Campbell Park is just adding to this foolish thinking. Fire engines would have to cross the highway and it is some distance from the bus terminal on Gate Avenue to Campbell, which is better served by Fire Hall No. 2 located on Boudreau Road.
And speaking of Fire Hall No. 2, the consultants suggest closing that station and building a new one on a site near Boudreau Road and Westwood Drive. Let me inform the consultants that this is a residential area without any vacant land and besides, think of the uproar if the city tried to impose a fire station right into a neighbourhood. Boudreau-area residents are unhappy as it is with the traffic that they have to endure.
I would like to see the business plan or rationale for this study and at the same time, ask why it had to be done at all, and if necessary, why we hired an United States’ firm to do it.
Good question for next year’s election fodder.
Bob Russell, St. Albert