Old fire hall still has value

The old Kinuso fire hall is a valuable asset to the Kinuso fire district of Big Lakes County Fire Services, says Kinuso deputy fire chief Everett Samuelson.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The old fire hall in Kinuso is being used by Big Lakes County Fire Services Kinuso fire district.

And the fire crew wants to keep it that way and have first dibs to buy it if council wants to sell.

At its regular meeting June 23, council heard a plea from Everett Samuelson, deputy fire chief, for Kinuso fire district.

“We thought it a shame to lose the building,” said Samuelson, who represented the Kinuso and District Volunteer Emergency Response Society.

“We don’t feel it’s beneficial to the community to lose it [for fire services].”

He added the old hall is used to store society equipment for fire and rescue.

At its regular meeting May 12, council approved a motion to invite the society to a council meeting to share its vision for the fire hall. At that meeting, tabled a motion to sell the building to the society for $1.

Another option presented by administration was to include the old fire hall in the County’s public land sale.

Samuelson told council it costs the society about $3,500 a year for utilities and maintenance.

“It’s a 30-some year-old building,” said Samuelson.

He added the building was constructed around 1988 and was used as the main base until the current new fire hall was built around 2012.

The fire command vehicle and van are stored in the old building.

“We also talked about using it as a base for a big incident,” Samuelson said.

“We train in there three or four times a year.”

Faust Councillor Robert Nygaard agreed that it’s a valued facility to the fire services.

“We use it for training,” said Nygaard, a firefighter with Faust fire district, who served as deputy fire chief for 15 years until he stepped down in January 2020.

By selling the hall to the Kinuso society for $1, council was most concerned the society would come back to council for grant funding in the future for major upgrades.

“Our concern as a council is to give it to you for $1, we don’t want you to come back for funds for a new roof or something else,” High Prairie East – Banana Belt Councillor Don Charrois said.

CAO Jordan Panasiuk told Samuelson that administration would present a report and recommendations at the next council meeting July 14.

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