In the new Town of Brome Lake budget is a significant item for 2023, a $7.50 million allocation for a new Fire Station. Tempo spoke to Gilbert Arel, director general, about this.
The existing Fire Station, on Mont Echo Road, has been used for over 40 years and no longer meets the user requirements of a modern station. The new station will be located on a site opposite the Community Centre on land purchased a few years ago. The hope is that it will be built in 2023. Plans for the new station have been in the works for several years, but have been delayed by negotiations with the province for a grant. There is only one program that is designated for this type of infrastructure program. The key criteria to obtain a grant from this program is that the applying town must be in a weak financial position.
Here is a picture of the relative financial health of TBL.
The towns in the slide have similar total evaluations of $1.7 billion. TBL is in the middle in terms of revenue and is the best by far in relative tax rate and debt. The good news is that TBL has an excellent financial position. The bad news is that this means that the province will not grant TBL any supporting funds.
The result is that TBL will have to pay for the entire project. Arel feels that taxes may have to rise maybe 2-3 cents, to accommodate this. Much of the detailed planning in 2022 will be to discover savings in construction while remaining true to the desire to build a building that aesthetically fits the quality norms of the town.