Future uses for the current fire hall
Deciding what will happen with the historic Ganges Fire Hall is an important consideration for both the District and the community.
The Fire Protection District recognizes that if a new fire hall is built on a different site, the community needs to be involved in any decisions around what to do with the existing fire hall and its prominent and centrally located site in downtown Ganges.
It is important to note that the legislation does not allow a fire department to operate facilities outside the scope of fire protection, so future uses of the current site would likely require ownership transfer of the property.
To start the process, the Board of Trustees had set up a committee to investigate options for what to do with the building and the property. The committee was made up of representatives from the Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District Board, the Capital Regional District (CRD), Islands Trust, the Farmers’ Market, the Farmer’s Institute, Agriculture Alliance, Chamber of Commerce, and members of the public. The final recommendations are listed below. It is worth noting, however, that these are only recommendations and no final decision has been made. The Fire District intends to get fair market value for the property. The board would value your input!
Recommendations to The Board of Trustees and the Fire Rescue Advisory Committee
Select Committee for the Disposition of the Ganges Fire Hall
Salt Spring Island Fire Protect District
The following are the final recommendations to the Board of Trustees and the Fire Rescue Advisory Committee from the Select Committee for the Disposition of the Ganges Fire Hall.
Laurie Taylor – CAO, Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District
Marguerite Lee – Salt Spring Famer’s Institute
Brian Webster – Agricultural Alliance
Gary Holman – Capital Regional District
Laura Patrick - Islands Trust
Matteo Hermani - Chamber of Commerce
Rob Pingle – Salt Spring Community Market Society
Per Svendsen – Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District
Ronald Lindstrom - Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District
- That the SSIFPD make best efforts to help retain the Ganges Fire Hall property in community hands, subject to:
- Receiving fair value for the property
- Agreement on proposed uses for the building
- If feasible, the preservation of the heritage aspects of the building, including the antique truck display and the clock tower
2. That the community investment should be commensurate to the life span of the building with respect to sea level rise.
3. That the community be engaged in the process of the disposition of the Ganges Fire Hall.
4. That the Fire District initiate discussions with the CRD and Salt Spring Island NGOs regarding the purchase and transfer options for the property, including consideration of the implications for the new fire hall project and approval process.
5. That the Fire District request the CRD initiate discussions with MOTI for the transfer of the parking lot
6. That the primary focus for the property and building should be a year-round public market with locally sourced food as a priority.