Smithers town councillors were seemingly surprised by a report from town staff that the Ranger Park building and Smithers Civic Centre should be considered for possible future sale.
The report came as a result of the two buildings not being included on the Town Building Replacement Reserve, and also not being placed in the town’s Building Condition Assessment contract. Town buildings not included in the Town Building Replacement Reserve (Bylaw No. 1832) are therefore up for consideration for future disposal.
According to the report to council by Morgan Widen, the town’s building inspector, both facilities were built in the 1950s and have not undergone any major renovations or upgrades for many years, and building assessment reports have not been completed in recent years.
According to the report, “both buildings are currently planned for future disposal, pursuant to Council Policy ADM-036 Disposal of Town Buildings.”
Councillors all expressed their discomfort with selling either facility, or the land they are located on, because the buildings and the occupants offer benefit to the town.
Councillors instead directed town staff to include both buildings in the condition assessment report, and will postpone any decisions regarding future sale until the report can be completed.
The Ranger Park building was originally built for the B.C. Forest Service in the 1950s, and currently houses the Bulkley Valley Collaborative Learning Society (BVCLS), and Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue. The BVCLS have approached town staff several times about the possibility of buying the building.
The Smithers Civic Centre was also built in the 1950s in Terrace, originally as an airplane hanger. It was purchased and moved to its current site in Smithers for an ice arena and for the use as a community centre.