The building of Ashburton District Council's new Rural Fire Force Shed for the Alford Forest Rural Fire Force is now complete, allowing operations to begin this week.
Located on Arundel Rakaia Gorge Road on land administered by the Alford Forest Domain Board, Council's Commercial Manager James Webb says the shed is a huge improvement on what the Fire Force had previously.
"The new shed – built by local firm Joseph Builders Limited and designed by Moore Architecture Limited – is a fantastic replacement of the former fire shed whose facilities had become inadequate in recent years.
"We now have a brand new, purpose-build fire shed that meets the different needs of our volunteer fire force on a number of levels, including attracting new volunteers to the force."
Chief Fire Force Controller Sandy Payne says the previous Alford Forest Rural Fire Shed was simply a single garage only providing enough space to store a small mobile pump unit and some other miscellaneous equipment.
"The new shed is a significant improvement in terms of size and better facilities which makes the demands of the volunteer fire fighting role much better for members whose time and contributions are so valuable in our district.
"We are now looking forward to getting on with the job in the new premises," he says.
The shed is approximately 180m2 is size and incorporates a large two-bay storage facility for two fire appliances, bathroom facilities, a kitchen and a meeting room.
The final building cost of this project was $217,044.60 + GST which is $4,769.42 less than the approved budget.