Igloolik ‘desperate’ for proper garage to maintain new fire truck
CAO estimates $8.4M price tag for new maintenance garage
A new fire truck may soon be on its way to Igloolik, but there isn’t a proper maintenance garage there to work on it or on the hamlet’s other emergency and service vehicles.
“It’s just a really bad situation,” said Greg Morash, the hamlet’s chief administrative officer.
The fire truck is scheduled to arrive on the sealift, later this year.
Morash said Igloolik is in “desperate” need of a new maintenance garage, to provide a climate-controlled place to service all its heavy equipment and emergency vehicles.
He said he’s been seeking funding for a new maintenance garage since 2017, and estimates it would cost $8.4 million, factoring in rising construction costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hamlet is currently using an old parking garage to service its vehicles, but the building is missing proper amenities and a concrete floor, and has difficulty maintaining heat in winter.
Morash said Igloolik has even received funding to create an evacuation plan, in case it is unable to provide snow clearing, water services, sewage services, or fire services because of vehicle breakdowns.
He said he’s pitched ideas to the Department of Community and Government Services, such as buying a pre-built garage from a manufacturer.
He also said he travelled to Iqaluit last year to discuss funding options with banks, but so far nothing has come together.
“We’re caught in a catch-22 here,” Morash said. “We have a truck seizing up every day, which affects our municipal services, which affects the health of the people.
“I get frustrated, to put it that way mildly.”
He said there is another possibility, although nothing is set in stone: The hamlet could seek federal funding to build a new maintenance garage.
Earlier this year, Nunavut MP Lori Idlout visited Igloolik and spoke with Morash and other hamlet councillors about the issue, and brought their concerns to the federal standing committee for Indigenous and northern affairs in June.
“There is definitely an urgency to the timeline,” said Idlout. “The materials for the warehouse need to come in the same summer as the fire truck.”