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Esquimalt Public Safety Building Project Takes Important Next Step in FundingTownship of Esquimalt
ESQUIMALT - The Township of Esquimalt is taking the next step in the process to build a new public safety building.
The existing public safety building (PSB) is nearing the end of its serviceable lifespan. In 2019, residents were asked about how best to spend the portion of the McLoughlin Amenity Funds allocated to public safety facilities through the CRD agreement. The result was a new PSB being put forward as a priority.
The design of the building will look to the future, allowing for expansion for the police and fire departments and some township services, as well as providing valuable commercial space on Esquimalt Road, Capital Regional District offices, a dedicated emergency operations centre as well as other space for public use.
“We recognize that this is a significant investment for the community,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “The added funding from the Mcloughlin Amenity Funds arrived at the right moment to help us build a much-improved and needed township resource.”
The total budget amount is estimated at $42 million. There are numerous costs associated with a project of this nature; demolition and abatement of the old PSB, construction of the new PSB, outfitting and equipping the building, temporary police and fire facilities and consultant costs, to name a few. There is $7.1 million in amenity funding dedicated to the PSB project. The remaining funding shortfall is approximately $35 million. This amount exceeds the township’s threshold to borrow without seeking public approval.
At the March 1 council meeting, council passed two resolutions. They approved first, second and third readings of the Loan Authorization Bylaw and subsequently gave staff authorization to proceed with an alternative approval process (AAP). The AAP is a form of approval that allows electors to indicate whether they are in opposition of a local government proposal moving forward. This process is outlined in legislation and must meet specific criteria in terms of timing and transparency.
The legislated notification period began April 1. The response period begins April 9. The response period is the timespan when eligible voters living in the Township of Esquimalt can submit a form stating their lack of support for the loan authorization. Responses outside that period and/or that are not received on the official response form are not counted.
At the end of the response period, if the threshold number (10 per cent of eligible voters living in the township) of negative responses is not met then the township may proceed with adopting the Loan Authorization Bylaw.
The township is using print advertisements, mailouts, social media, e-newsletters and the website as part of its outreach strategy. The aim is to provide both digital and hard copy forms of information-sharing to help reach as many residents as possible.
Details about the project, the alternative approval process and response forms are available at esquimalt.ca/PublicSafety .
- Read the March 1 staff report outlining the project
- Read the April 1 public notification
- Learn more about B.C.'s Alternative Approval Process
Manager of Communications