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Mar 31,2011 The Now News


Port Moody voters will cast the first ballots next week in the advance polls for the fire hall referendum.

The referendum question will ask residents if they are in favour of adopting a bylaw to allow the city to borrow up to $16 million to replace Fire Hall No. 1.

Built in 1974, the hall has structural damage that includes cracks in the foundation and areas where the floor slab has pulled away from the foundation walls. The replacement of Fire Hall No. 1 is named the single major city-funded capital project in the 2009-2014 financial plan.

The proposed new three-storey building would include space for training, fire prevention and administration. There would also be a four-bay garage for fire trucks and emergency equipment, as well as a four-storey tower for rescue training and drying fire hoses.

If the majority votes yes in the referendum, council will borrow up to $16 million to replace the hall at its current location at Ioco Road and Murray Street. Council will consider four repayment options for the debt, which will be borrowed over a 30-year term.

If the majority votes no, council will consider other options to replace the fire hall.

Acting Mayor Karen Rockwell encourages Port Moody residents to cast their ballots in the referendum.

"It's going to be direct impact on what residents are going to have to pay in property taxes if they choose this funding option for the fire hall. So for no reason other than it's going to hit them in the pocketbook, they should get out and vote," Rockwell said.

"They need to understand what's being asked, make themselves educated on the issue and come forward and let us know what they think. I hope we get more than the usual 10 or 12 per cent deciding things for the other 88 or 90 per cent.

"This is democracy in action. There are people around the world that fight and kill to have the opportunities that we have here in Canada to have our voices heard, so I hope people will come forward and let us know."

The first advance poll will be held Wednesday, April 6, followed by another on Saturday, April 9. Both advance polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the City Hall Galleria at 100 Newport Dr. Voting day is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Glenayre Community Centre, Heritage Mountain Community Centre, Kyle Centre and the Port Moody Recreation Complex, with mobile polls at Eagle Ridge Hospital and Legion Manor.

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