Sidney’s current BC Ambulance Station on Third Street. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

Ambulance service signs lease deal with Sidney

Town, BCHES confirm move into new community safety building in 2019

Ambulance services will be staying in Sidney, thanks to a new lease agreement for space in the town’s new community safety building.

The Town of Sidney and BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) formalized a lease at the end of February, confirming that the local ambulance service will move in from its current Third Street location, once the community safety building (CSB) is complete — and that’s expected in early 2019.

“Keeping the ambulance station in town to serve our residents has been one of the motivating factors in pursuing a new Community Safety Building,” stated Mayor Steve Price in a media release. “The Town is happy to provide a new, custom-built, post-disaster building for use by BC Emergency Health Services, knowing that they will be here for the long-term.”

Including the ambulance service in the new, $14.5 million fire hall building has always been in the Town’s plans. A final lease agreement could not be reached, however, until a better picture of the overall costs of the facility came into focus.

“Now that the total project costs are closer to being finalized, a formal lease agreement … is ready for council approval,” wrote Sidney’s Director of Corporate Services Andrew Hicik in a report.

The lease is for a 20-year term, with options for renewals to extend it to 40 years. The BCEHS will pay an annual base rent of $172,648 for each of the first 20 years of the lease, up to a maximum of $2.5 million for the ambulance portion of the building. This represents 15.5 per cent of the total cost of the building.

The lease also states that the BCEHS will cover its own costs for fitting out its space with equipment and it will pay a share of common operating costs, like cleaning services and electricity.

“We’re extremely excited to be moving into a facility that’s built to our needs,” said BCEHS Area Director for patient care delivery Lance Stephenson.

Stephenson added this is Vancouver Island’s first purposely built joint facility for fire and emergency health services use.

“It’s great to see a building with the future in mind,” said Stephenson. “It really is ideal.”

Hicik noted the Town, under these lease terms, should be able to recover the cost of the ambulance portion of the CSB in the first 20 years. He estimated Sidney’s total loan payments for the ambulance portion of the building to be around $130,000 a year, over 30 years at current rates. Hicik added the Town could consider borrowing the ambulance portion of the loan over a 20-year-term, to manage cash flow.

The Town of Sidney is using a combination of borrowed money, gas tax dollars, lease payments and the sale of its current fire hall building and adjacent property, to pay for the new CSB.

RELATED: Sidney fire hall, parking lot, go up for sale.

The current ambulance station on Third Street, across from the fire hall, is expected to be demolished should a proposed redevelopment of the Star Cinema building be approved.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Last chance to say hello to the future

Saanich 150 time capsule on display at municipal hall

Fire safety rolls out to Oak Bay elementary schools

Fire education comes to three area elementary schools starting April 9

Giants draw first blood in WHL playoff series vs. Victoria

Home ice advantage non-existent for Royals against arch-rival Vancouver

Saanich makes appeal for regional fire dispatch system

Five CRD communities drop Saanich service in favour of Surrey

Oak Bay cyclists have new resource to aid in health and fitness

Bike Fix Station installed at Rec Centre thanks to Firefighters Charitable Foundation

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

B.C. umpire has developed thick skin after 30 years listening to insults

Scott McLaren pays no mind to comments from the cheap seats

Musicians Sarah Harmer, Grimes join B.C. anti-pipeline protests

Musicians are in Vancouver for the Juno Awards on Sunday night

Saanich invites input on garden suites

Early returns suggest support for the legalization of garden suites, but the… Continue reading

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Public warned not to eat herring eggs harvested from French Creek to Qualicum Bay

Island Health reports vibrio cholerae infection linked to eating herring eggs

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Most Read