The Municipality of Rhineland is closing in on the purchase of an 11,000 square-foot building in Plum Coulee that will house the local fire department and public works shop.

Reeve Don Wiebe explained, recent public hearings seeking to draw surplus funds and pull a debenture to cover the costs of the purchase, went undisputed.

"We've cleared that hurdle (and) we've sent that information off to the Municipal Board. We're expecting a response certainly by the first Council meeting in October, then we would proceed to making the purchase official."

He noted, this is a project that's been on Council's radar for a number of years, and said the Municipality has been building up reserves to put towards the cost.

The building, located at 215 Railway, will be purchased for $720,000 and, based on engineer estimates, will cost additional $680,000 to engineer and upgrade to make it functional for both a public works shop and firehall. The estimated total value of the project is be $1,400,000. According to the Municipality, $770,000 will be drawn from the General Reserve with a portion of the funds re-paid following the sale of the two Plum Coulee-area public works shops and the civic office. Additionally, $120,000 will be pulled from the Plum Coulee Fire Reserve, and $315,000 from the Rhineland Fire Reserve. This leaves $195,000 remaining which Council plans to cover with a Local Improvement Debenture.

According to Wiebe, renovations to the fire hall side of the building include creating a meeting space, washrooms, storage and the creation of drain in order facilitate a proper wash bay. A wall will be built to separate the fire hall from the public works side. "And then we're in! We'll move an extra door where and there, but the building is very adequate," said Wiebe.

If all goes well, added Wiebe, the expected possession date would be some time in November.