Town councillors met for about an hour behind closed doors Monday to discuss the location of a new amalgamated fire hall for Stations 4 and 6 in Ridgeway and Crystal Beach.
The site was pared down to two choices: Ridge Road at Thunder Bay Road, and Farr Avenue at Gorham Road.
The amalgamation is recommended in a consultant’s review of the fire and emergency services completed in 2017 and council tasked the fire chief to find a location for the two stations.
The merger would continue a trend started with the amalgamation of Stations 1 and 2 into District 2 serving the North End and South End neighbourhoods of Fort Erie.
As well as cost savings associated with building costs, amalgamated stations would reduce the need for redundant equipment, provide operational efficiencies and reduce manpower needs from 140 to approximately 100 when the mergers are complete, the study said.
Station 3 in Crescent Park and Station 5 in Stevensville are unaffected by changes to the infrastructure.
A new fire hall for Ridgeway and Crystal Beach is estimated to cost $4.5 million and feature four truck bays, fitness room, kitchen and decontamination facilities.
Consolidation reduces the total cost of breathing equipment (SCBA) by approximately one-third of the current $1.2 million and allows every firefighter to be equipped with masks.
Maintenance costs are expected to be reduced with the need for $300,000 in repairs and improvements to become unnecessary.
Station 4 in Ridgeway was built in 1955, Station 6 in 1965.