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Oct 14,2010 Tri City News

Plans to replace Port Moody's aging fire hall moved a step closer to reality Tuesday after council approved a siting plan for the new building.

The four-bay fire station will be three storeys high and angled slightly to accommodate the driveway and keep the building within required road and stream setbacks.

According to the plan, emergency vehicles will exit on Murray Street and return to the station via Ioco Road and Knowles Street. Public parking will be located well away from the station and the entire project will be outside of a minimum 30 m stream setback to protect fish habitat.

Deputy Fire Chief Remo Faedo said the driveway for exiting fire trucks will be perpendicular to Murray Street, allowing for safer crossings, fewer traffic conflicts and less wear and tear on the trucks. Although the training area will be smaller then the current yard, it will be acceptable and the department staff are pleased the project can now proceed to the next phase.

"City council would like to progress with this as fast as possible," Faedo said. "It's just one foot after another, we haven't stopped."

So far, the project calls for a hall of 23,500 sq. ft., based on input from fire department staff and management. It will include small area for fire department memorabilia, a conference room, office areas for management and staff, a library/study, a large fitness room (915 sq. ft.), several storage and utility areas, a kitchen/dining room, dorm room and separate change rooms for male and female firefighters.

Port Moody council will spend $40,000 on a referendum, which could be held as early as December, to ask voters whether the city should borrow money to pay for the project.

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