Clarence-Rockland residents will be getting two new ambulance stations in the municipality, one in Bourget and the other in Rockland.
The two buildings will be owned by the municipality with Prescott-Russell emergency services renting the space.
The last ambulance planning report was in 2010. Since then, Michel Chrétien, director of emergency services for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) says there have been attempts to build, culminating in a failed request for proposal last year for a combined ambulance and forestry station, but costs were just too high.
That report highlighted the need for an increased ambulance presence in the municipality—a need that has continued to grow, says Chrétien.
In that time, Clarence-Rockland approached the department offering to build the two new buildings.
In Bourget, paramedics have had to run to the fire station to go to the washroom.
“There was just an ambulance on the side of the road,” says Chrétien. “It’s been seven years that we’re talking about (a station) in Bourget.”
The new station will be near the centre of the village.
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There is an ambulance station at the corner of Landry and Tucker Road. Built in 2005, a report presented to council says current “needs have outgrown the space and location.”
There is only space for two ambulances at the station. Without a spare vehicle, paramedics can sometimes lose time between shift changes waiting for a vehicle to return. Chrétien adds that situation is exacerbated if local paramedics respond to calls in Ottawa.
According to an appraisal report, the UCPR anticipate selling the building for about $455,000.
The Rockland location would be combined with a new fire hall.
The Bourget location would be about 1,700 square feet and about 7,000 square feet for Rockland.
Again according the report presented to council, a market survey recommended a rental cost between $18 and $20 for Bourget, and between $24 and $26 for Rockland.
The two parties settled on $24.50 per square foot for both locations totaling $213,567 plus utilities. Chrétien says the department can recoup half of the rent cost from the province.
The buildings would likely be built in mid or late 2018 with the new costs added to the 2019 budget.
The important thing, says Chrétien, is to better serve residents.
“The public can have confidence,” he says. “The image and projection of security does a lot for people.”
During the meeting, the UCPR alse renewed the lease with the Township of Champlain for the ambulance post at the Vankleek Hill fire station for a monthly total of about $2,000, a two percent increase from the previous year.
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