Public Safety Building Project: overview

Project design and financing

June 2023

On May 8, 2023, staff along with CORE Project Management appeared before Council to discuss the progress of the Public Safety Building Project.  Costs for the project have escalated so that an additional $14 million would be required to complete the building as originally scoped (totalling $62.2M). 

Several options for moving forward were presented to Council. These options included revising the project by reducing the scope, proceeding as designed or redefining the project, including cancellation.

Council directed staff and Core to explore two options:

  1. Explore a budget increase through either an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) or a Referendum.
  2. Explore the development options if a Fire Hall was located on the south portion of the site, and the north portion of the site was developed into a new use such as office, residential, police, etc.

At the June 12 Committee of the Whole, council received a briefing from the Public Safety Building project team including a presentation by the project manager from CORE Project Management to respond to Council’s direction. (See the staff report with full responses and CORE presentation).

Staff response summary

  • An AAP could be conducted in approximately 60 Days from start to finish. An AAP can be incorporated into current staff work plans and would cost approximately $10,000 to $15,000, including staff time, advertising and communications and other associated costs.
  • Holding a referendum is similar in scope and staff work to holding an election. It is estimated that the referendum process will take approximately 6 months to complete and will cost approximately $100,000 to $150,000.
  • Council was presented with Development options for the site. This included an option for a building on the south site that contains fire operations and support, CRD space, emergency operations centre (EOC), meeting rooms, and building support and service spaces.

The staff report (Staff Report CSS-23-006) also included recommendations to the Committee that Council direct staff to do the following:

a) Begin development of a new concept for the Public Safety Building, including Fire Rescue Services as well as an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), programable space and CRD office space, using current programming and designs where possible to accelerate the design and implementation process;

b) Initiate a new project to explore options for development of the north end of the Park Place lot for Council consideration; and,

c) Initiate a new project to develop options for the future location of Police services within the Township.

The Committee voted in favour of these recommendations and Council ratified the resolution at the council meeting on June 19 (watch the video discussion).

Read the Public Safety Building Project Update FAQs

June 2022

The estimate was updated in June 2022 with the project amounting to an additional $6M.

After tenders were issued in December 2022, the construction manager presented the township with an unexpected budget of $62.2M. Staff sought a second opinion to ensure confidence in the numbers presented by the construction manager, resulting in a similar budget amount.


The total budget amount estimate in 2021 was $42 million.  This included the numerous costs associated with a project of this nature: demolition and abatement of the old PSB, construction of the new PSB, outfitting and equipping the building, temporary police and fire facilities and consultant costs, to name a few. Roughly one-third of the costs for the building cover things other than construction; things like temporary facilities for fire and police to work out of during construction and demolition and abatement of the old structure.

There is $7.1 million in amenity funding dedicated to the PSB project.  The remaining funding shortfall of approximately $35 million  exceeded the township’s threshold to borrow without seeking public approval therefore, there is a legislated requirement to seek that approval.  

At the March 1 2021 council meeting, council gave staff authorization to proceed with an alternative approval process (AAP). The AAP is a form of approval that allows electors to indicate whether they are against a local government proposal moving forward. This process is outlined in legislation and must meet specific criteria in terms of timing and transparency.  

The township received approval from the Province to begin the formal AAP process. 

The township used print advertisements, mailouts, social media, e-newsletters and the website as part of its outreach strategy with the aim is to provide both digital and hard-copy forms of information-sharing to help reach as many residents as possible. The AAP did not meet the threshold and the township was able to borrow $35M for the project.

You may email your comments or questions to Blair McDonald, Director of Community Safety Services at [email protected]