Council approved amending the Town of Smithers Business Facade Improvement program by including businesses fronting Highway 16 in commercial zones and by allowing businesses who participated in the 2017 signage upgrades to apply for funding up to the remainder of $5,000, which is the maximum lifetime amount
Since these programs have traditionally been under-subscribed to, the Chamber of Commerce have put forward several requests for the program to expand to the Frontage Road businesses along Highway 16.
Several councillors felt a one year trial was in order, while Mayor Gladys Atrill felt the emphasis should remain on the businesses in the downtown core, from King Street to Queen Street and Railway Avenue to the Highway.
As of March 23 nothing had been awarded from this funding yet.
Although council passed a motion to postpone any in-person celebrations, Councilor Thomas and Mayor Atrill felt there may be some outdoor activities like planting 100 trees; doing a 1k, 5k, 10k walk or run; having a “Citizen of the Century” award, that could be held under the current COVID health mandates. Councillors Brown and Buikema also liked the idea of doing both.
Mayor Atrill then set a select committee to look at the town’s options and alternative events that could safely be celebrated and to report back to council at the next April meeting. The actual Incorporation date is in October, allowing for time to plan events that may be appropriate at that time.
ICE CREAM TRUCK EXPANSION
Smithers’ student ice cream truck program is expanding.
In 2015, Smithers lost its ice cream parlour and the Chamber felt it would be an opportune time to develop a program that would give youth a chance to operate a mobile ice cream parlour for the summer as if it were their own business.
This year, the Chamber requested the mobile operation be allowed in two locations, in Central Park and Bovill Square.
Also, the Chamber requested to operate for the months of June to August and possibly September if weather and student schedules allow.
Both of these requests were granted.
The Chamber further asked that council allow a variance to the Mobile Restaurant Regulations specifying that the mobile units cannot be set up for longer than two consecutive days per week at each site.
Council felt it was important, especially for a youth program, that bylaws and regulations be adhered to. Therefore, the request to vary the consecutive days rule was denied.