RockPointe Church offers home for Bearspaw firehall
Rocky View County council was told at a Public Services Committee meeting on May 15 that the Bearspaw Emergency Services Centre is close to finding a home.
Drew Hyndman of the County’s municipal planning department told council a preliminary agreement has been made with the RockPointe Church to construct the facility on land the church owns near Highway 1A.
“RockPointe Church has really gone above and beyond in terms of recognizing one of the major needs of the community,” said Hyndman.
The facility was first proposed to be constructed on municipal reserve property south of Lochend Drive. However, several area residents opposed the location at open houses which were held in February, citing concerns about the potential impact on the environment and the view, as well as an increase in traffic in the area.
“Community engagement is an important component of what Rocky View stands for,” said Hyndman. “We listened to the feedback we received and decided to explore other options.
“We had previously had conversations with RockPointe Church and they indicated they were willing to look at their property and provide an opportunity. We’ve been exploring that since March, and we’ve got to a point where we have a preliminary agreement.”
Hyndman said RockPointe Church will take the agreement to their membership for a ratification vote within the next month.
Once the agreement has been approved in principle, it will be brought back to council for formal consideration.
Pending council approval, the County will then sign a formal agreement, rezone and subdivide the land and begin the construction process.
“We’re hoping we can be ready for late 2013,” he said, adding that construction needs to begin soon, as the City of Calgary will no longer provide fire services once this year’s contract expires on July 1, 2013.
“We need to have a building under construction and well on its way to completion to demonstrate we have a long-term solution. Our intent is, if we can reach an agreement with the church, that we can begin preliminary site work this summer and start construction early in the new year.”
Hyndman said the proposed location provides high visibility and easy access to the highway network and does not pose significant impacts on the community.
“Safety is a top priority for the County and we feel that this facility will be a significant asset for both the County and the Bearspaw community,” he said.
Hyndman commended RockPointe Church for its willingness to assist the County in finding a home for the facility.
“They are a very community-oriented organization, and their willingness to come forward and offer a potential solution has been a very important part of this,” he said.
“We are in a very unique situation where we have an organization that is willing to come forward and work with us on coming up with a solution that meets their needs, as well as the needs of the County.”
The County is looking to host a Town Hall meeting on the matter sometime in the next couple of months, ideally at the end of June or beginning of July, after the church’s membership has voted and the matter has been discussed by council.