KINGSVILLE — The Town of Kingsville has granted planning approval for a new ambulance station near Division Street North and Road 2.
The three-bay station will replace the current location at the town fire hall on Division and will open in late 2022 or early 2023. The current station at the fire hall has only one bay.
“It’s built to provide service going into the next 10 to 15 years, if not more,” Bruce Krauter, chief of Essex Windsor Emergency Medical Service (EMS), said in an interview.
At Monday’s council meeting, Krauter said two other sites were considered — one at the southwest corner of Road 2 and Division, the second farther west along Road 2.
He said the choice at the intersection could cause traffic problems and the site farther west along Road 2 would increase emergency response times.
Krauter said the chosen site offers quick access to major east-west and north-south roads.
“It’s a prime location and we expect that response times will … improve,” he said. The County of Essex will fund the purchase of the property behind the vacant lot north of the new Dairy Queen and Tim Hortons site.
Council was told the setback from Division, away from the intersection, will provide easier exits for ambulances.
The exit and entrance will be site-specific to the ambulance station.
The town’s director of planning Robert Brown said the station will not impede the development of other vacant commercial sites near the Dairy Queen and Tim Hortons sites.
In an interview, Krauter said the site plan approval granted Monday will allow the county to issue requests for proposals from local contractors.
The EMS building at 75 Road 2 E. will be 6,415 square feet and will be built on a 29,408-square- foot parcel of land.
Deputy Mayor Gord Queen put the approval of the new station into historical perspective.
He said Kingsville received its first ambulance in 1946. He said the ambulance was funded by the local Kinsmen club and housed in an old garage near the Greenhill cemetery.
“We had problems, how should I say, challenges, at that particular location in a residential area,” he said.
Approval of the station was unanimous.