In 2020, during the budget preparations for the 2021-2025 Financial Plan, it was identified that the Hosmer Fire Hall required renovations and would no longer able to meet the space requirements for the equipment and trucks required to continue to provide fire service to the Hosmer Fire Protection Service Area. $500,000 was allocated in the 2021 budget for the construction of two additional bays and a renovation of the existing Hall. This was shared as part of the public consultation on the Five-Year Financial Plan and budget discussions.

As more investigation was done into the required renovations and costs to construct the two additional bays, a number of challenges were noted, including:

  • The water line frequently freezing in the winter,
  • The unknown condition of the septic system,
  • Limited space available on the current land to build additional bays or expand the hall, particularly the potential traffic congestion when the community hall is hosting functions, and
  • Electrical issues and potential associated fire hazard with the current wiring in the fire hall.

Given these challenges, combined with the anticipated costs to renovate the existing hall and construct a required additional structure on the existing property, in 2022 then-Area Director Mike Sosnowski asked staff to include funding for a new fire hall in the five-year financial plan subject to the approval of grant funding so that there would be no direct tax impacts related the construction for taxpayers within the Service Area.

Through the budget deliberations, Director Sosnowski asked the Board of Directors for support to use a portion of Area A's Mine Tax Sharing Funds and approve the use of Community Works funds to build a new hall that would not only properly meet the new building code and safety standards, but that would have enough room for the required equipment and provide the firefighters with a safe and adequate place to train.

At its March 2022 Board Meeting, the Board approved $2.5 million, including $2 million from the Elk Valley Mine Tax Sharing Funds (Area A portion) and $500,000 in Community Works funds in the 2022-2026 Financial Plan for the construction of a new fire. This was shared as part of the public consultation on the Five-Year Financial Plan and budget discussions.

With escalating construction costs, it was determined that additional funding would need to be committed before any detailed work could proceed on the potential project to ensure adequate funding would be available. As a result, in September 2022 Director Sosnowski sought the support of the Board to allocate an additional $500,000 in Area A Mine Tax Sharing Funds and $1 million in Community Works funds to increase the total funding for construction of a new fire hall to $4 million. The RDEK Board approved the additional funding and directed the CAO to enter into confidential discussions with a landowner for the potential location of a new fire hall that was located within a central area of the Fire Protection Service Area. These negotiations were required to be kept confidential until an agreement had been signed.

In October of 2022, an election was held and Thomas McDonald was elected as the new Electoral Area A Director. Over the first few months of his term, he spent time learning about the many different projects, programs and services in Electoral Area A and understanding the procedures, policies, and role of an elected official. He has spoken with many residents who shared concerns regarding the fire hall proposal and the need for more communication with the community and in the summer of 2023 requested an assessment of the current fire hall to determine its suitability for continued use, as well as required expansion, to meet the needs of the Hosmer Fire Protection Service Area.

In August 2023, the conditional sale agreement was reached on a piece of property at the corner of Kmiecik and Dicken Roads. The conditional agreement establishes the parameters for the purchase of the land, subject to required rezoning and subdivision approval as well as reaffirming the decision to relocate the fire hall.

In September 2023, Director McDonald asked the Board to support his motion to approve up to $20,000 in funding from the Electoral Area A portion of the Mine Tax Sharing Funds to complete an assessment on the current building. This request was unanimously supported by the Board on September 8, 2023 and RDEK staff have begun the work to secure a consultant to complete the assessment.

While there is not yet a timeline for the completion of the assessment, once complete it will be shared with the community via the Hosmer email group and will be posted on this page. No other work will be undertaken until the assessment is complete.