By Jamie Mountain
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
LATCHFORD – The Latchford Fire Hall expansion project is progressing nicely.
“(We) just got the roof done this weekend, that should keep the rain out and (we’ll) be working on the soffit and fascia next,” Latchford Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Beaupre said in an email message.
“So, it's coming along.”
There’s a lack of space in the current hall and the expansion was needed to house all of the vehicles and equipment.
Members of the fire department raised funds for the project for the last 10 years.
With Latchford council’s approval, and with some lumber provided by EACOM Timber, the fire department was able to move forward with their plans.
“We obtained our building permit for a 30×60-foot concrete pad in October 2018,” Beaupre had told The Speaker.
He said that the weather turned cold too fast, so the department had to postpone the project to the spring of 2019.
Then on April 1 of last year, a train containing oriented strand board (OSB) and other lumber derailed just north of Latchford.
“After some phone calls with (Ontario Northland Railway) personnel, the Town of Latchford Fire Department was given the salvage rights, giving the fire department the funding boost it needed,” said Beaupre.
With the funds from the sale of the OSB and lumber totalling $75,441 and with a $35,000 donation from the Latchford Volunteer Firefighters’ Association, the department was now good to go ahead with the expansion project.
The concrete pad was poured this spring and the construction was carried out over the summer months.
Beaupre said that if all went well with the project the fire department would be able to move into the new hall this fall.
Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker