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Downtown EMS station in the works

Kitchener Post staff

Properties gobbled up by the Region of Waterloo for the widening of Weber Street may also become the site of a new downtown EMS station.

Regional councillors will vote later this month on a plan to build an EMS station on Weber, between Water and Victoria streets.

There are currently four houses in the affected block.

Two have been purchased by the region for a total of $635,000, while two are still moving through the process of expropriation.

Ambulances are currently dispatched to downtown locations from a temporary base at Victoria and King streets, on the site of the future transit hub. The region hopes to have EMS vacate that space by 2014 to clear the way for LRT and transit hub construction.

The new station will handle an estimated 8,100 high-priority calls each year. Downtown Kitchener has more cardiac arrest calls than any other area in Waterloo Region.

A portion of the block at the Victoria Street end will not be part of the EMS station plan, and will instead be offered up for commercial uses.

The project is estimated to cost $1.1 million, plus property costs.

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