The Town of Smithers is considering rezoning the LB Warner site from public use to medium density mixed residential. As part of that process the BV Museum is asking the Town to come up with a long-term plan for an antique sawmill they have been storing on the lot. (Interior News file photo)

The Town of Smithers is considering rezoning the LB Warner site from public use to medium density mixed residential. As part of that process the BV Museum is asking the Town to come up with a long-term plan for an antique sawmill they have been storing on the lot. (Interior News file photo)

BV Museum asks Town to come up with plan regarding antique sawmill

The museum wants to find a home for an antique sawmill believed to be over 100 years old

The Bulkley Valley Museum (BVM) is asking Smithers Town Council to take steps to make sure an important piece of Bulkley Valley history continues to have a roof over its head.

The Town recently voted unanimously to approve a motion that a Nov. 5 letter from the BVM be brought forward in future discussions around remediation of the LB Warner lot at 1621 Main Street.

Currently the site houses a number of old buildings from the former Ministry of Highways works yard which serve as storage facilities for a number of local organizations, including the BVM.

READ MORE: BV Farmers Market seeks to recruit more vendors

At their Apr. 23 meeting council voted 5-2 in favour to reclassify the designation of the lot from civic to mixed residential under the Official Community Plan.

They also voted in favour of changing the zoning designation of the land from public to medium-density residential and to set aside $250,000 of the Town’s recently-acquired $6.2 million infrastructure grant funding toward remediation of the site.

The steps are the first of many toward the potential (but not guaranteed) construction of housing on the old LB Warner lot, which has been identified as a potential location for provincially-funded affordable housing.

As part of that process, the BVM said they are proactively working to evaluate their capacity to care for and store oversized artifacts in their collection (due to the possibility of losing some or all of their storage at 1621 Main Street).

During this evaluation, the museum said they found something interesting, an old portable saw mill owned by the Town.

It had been in storage by the BVM at the LB Warner site since 2003 and, according to an Interior News article from the same year, was believed to be over 100 years old at the time.

The BVM has been storing it since a motion was passed unanimously at a July 22, 2003 Smithers Town Council meeting to set it up at the public works yard “until a more suitable location is found.”

Enthusiasm for the relocation of the sawmill — originally owned by the Schibli family of Smithers — faded, with no suitable location ever found.

Now, some 16-and-a-half years later, the BVM is urging the Town to come up with a plan for the item.

READ MORE: Art Gallery and Museum collaborate on historical Fall Fair exhibition

The request is part of a larger effort by the museum to consolidate some of its oversized items being stored on the LB Warner lot.

“[Smithers Town Council] may not be aware that this item exists and/or that it belongs to the Town,” the letter addressed to council reads.

“It’s an item with significant local history [and is] representative of the smaller family-run sawmills that were once common throughout northwestern BC.”

The BVM added they are currently unable to take the sawmill into their collection unless a long-term storage location can be arranged by the Town.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dianna Plouffe, right, with Mayor Gladys Atrill in front of Town Hall following the announcement she will be the new CAO> (Facebook photo)
Director of corporate services named Smithers CAO

Dianna Plouffe replaces Alan Harris who is retiring at the end of April

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Volunteer Robbie McKnight works the screening table at the Coast Mountain College COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Smithers. (Deb Meissner photo)
UPDATE Smithers clinic expands vaccine eligibility to ages 55+

Community members born in 1966 or earlier can now register and will be notified when they can book

Pembina Prince Rupert Terminal shipped its first vessel full of liquefied petroleum gas on April 9, just less than three years after breaking ground at the re-purposed pulp mill site on Watson Island.
Pembina ships first vessel of LPG out of Prince Rupert

More than $12 million spent to repurpose Watson Island for the LPG export facility

Styrofoam burning at the Woodmere Tree Nursery in Telka created billowing black smoke over Tyhee Lake and resulted in air quality advisory for Bulkley Valley. (Contributed photo)
VIDEO: Telkwa styrofoam fire air quality advisory lifted

A woodpile fire at Woodmere Tree Nursery spread to styrofoam blocks causing air quality concerns

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read