The fire station under construction in Mahone Bay will cost about a $1 million more now that officials are fast-tracking construction of emergency shelter capacity, something the town's mayor David Devenne says was originally planned for years down the road.
The rising cost of building construction materials combined with the low cost of borrowing and lack of immediate financial support from other levels of government were factors in pushing up the start date.
In early June, the Mahone Bay town council awarded the $970,455 contract for the fire hall addition to Kings County-based Roscoe Construction. The Cambridge company had secured the original $3.4 million procurement for the fire station construction in September 2020.
Work on the project is ongoing, with the new five-bay station expected to be ready for operations before the end of the year. Devenne anticipates the hall addition will be largely finished by winter 2022.
The opportunity to add-on ahead of schedule became doable within the last year, the mayor said.
The volunteer fire department anted up $250,000 and the town committed to matching funds. Mahone Bay borrowed from a crown corporation which was established to help municipalities with financing big purchases and the fire service will repay the loan over 10 years.
"All the stars and planets seemed to have aligned at the right time to make it feasible to do [the] project now rather than waiting," Devenne explained to LighthouseNOW.
Adding the new hall equips the Mahone Bay area with the ability to provide basic overnight capacity with uninterrupted electricity services in times of major emergencies.
The new building is going up on Hawthorn Road, next to the department's existing two-bay Kinburn Street station, which was established in the 1960s.
Mahone Bay firefighters service a district that includes the communities of Clearland, Maders Cove and Oakland, in addition to the town.
Lunenburg County has seen new fire stations pop-up in other communities in recent years.
In the nearby community of Blockhouse in 2017, volunteer firefighters there celebrated the opening of a new $824,000 fire station on Highway 325. It replaced a building established in the 1950s.
In 2013, members of the Italy Cross-Middlewood and district volunteer fire department hosted an open house to mark the opening of its new Highway 103 station.