Village staff, council frustrated Beiseker still without firehall
Staff at the Village of Beiseker is frustrated the fire hall, damaged in last year’s Nov. 27 windstorm, hasn’t been replaced.
Although the level of service isn’t affected, the situation is inconvenient for firefighters, according to staff and councillors.
“We are finding places to store all of our fire equipment in, nobody except the firefighters have really noticed much of a difference,” said Mayor Ray Courtman. “The Beiseker fire department is suffering from a great deal of inconvenience. It must be frustrating for them.”
Last fall, Beiseker’s firehall roof was blown off in a windstorm, which also damaged houses and other structures such as the Rocky View Schools Education Centre in Airdrie.
Firefighters relocated to Richter’s farm in the days following the storm. Equipment was then moved to buildings owned by Cartel Energy Services, where it was stored over the winter.
Recently, firefighters moved back to Richter’s farm, where they are currently operating out of a Quonset.
“They have been so good,” said Courtman. “First Cartel and then Richter’s farm, to allow us to park our fire equipment inside, but we don’t want to antagonize them in any way.”
According to Courtman, the Village needs a semi-permanent structure erected to house its fire equipment until a permanent structure is in place.
“I am suggesting a temporary structure,” said Courtman. “Get this building silliness straightened out, this has turned into a complete gong show.”
According to Village CAO Jo-Anne Lambert, the municipality’s insurance providers, Alberta Municipal Services Corporation, determined a new building was needed about six months ago.
Earlier this month, the firehall was torn down and a new 40-foot by 80-foot building was delivered to the site.
“Now they have determined the existing foundation isn’t suitable for the new building,” said Lambert. “We are very, very happy that they decided we needed a new building, but six months is too long (to be without) an emergency services building.”
Despite the difficulties, Lambert said she is optimistic something will be done soon.
“I have the head of the claims department and the top adjustor taking over our case and I am hopeful this will now get things resolved,” she said.
Courtman said it is critical the problem is solved before winter.
“We have to have a permanent structure in place ready to park our vehicles in when fall comes and we start getting the cold weather again,” he said. “They have four months to get this problem solved.”
“We have been paying our insurance… we feel we deserve the service,” he added. “The people in Beiseker, their tax money is going to these insurance premiums.”
Beiseker Fire Chief Chad Schopf declined comment.