Smithers Home Hardware has been served with a Remedial Action Order from Smithers Town Council to address structural issues. (Deb Meissner photo)

Smithers Home Hardware has been served with a Remedial Action Order from Smithers Town Council to address structural issues. (Deb Meissner photo)

Town council orders remedial action on Home Hardware building for potential public safety risk

A safety audit triggerd by investigation of original engineer revealed significant structural issues

Smithers Town Council has issued a Remedial Action Requirement Order to Smithers Home Hardware store due to public safety concerns.

This order will formally require the owner of the store to submit an independent structural engineer’s assessment of the building within 30 days, and to implement the recommendations in the assessment within 90 days.

The owner, Theo Bandstra, will also be required to post signage at the main entrance to the building stating that the building “may not be structurally sound” until remedial actions are completed.

The residential tenant in the upstairs rear suite will also be notified of the order.

READ MORE: Home Hardware owner on new building traffic, apartment

Under the Community Charter, section 73, council is empowered to make such an order when it considers there is an unsafe situation that needs to be dealt with.

In the case of Home Hardware, council determined the building “is in or creates an unsafe condition which causes risk to persons and property in the vicinity” according to the order imposed.

Bandstra said the store has already taken action.

“We are taking this matter seriously and are cooperating with the Town of Smithers,” Bandstra wrote in an emailed statement to the Interior News. “The safety of our customers and our staff is our priority. We have already engaged an independent structural engineering firm that specializes in buildings in central British Columbia. The firm is helping us review these technical issues and develop a plan for addressing any aspects of Building Code compliance. We are also working with a local builder who will assist us in performing any required modifications.”

Acting upon a safety audit, that was part of an investigation into a “professional conduct complaint” against the original engineer of the building (name redacted in the report), there are “two areas of serious concern regarding the structural engineering design contained in the (original) drawings.”

“In relation to the connection of the lower roof beam to the continuous column, it is a poor connection, so the connection strength (of the roof beam) is only about 24 per cent of that required,” the investigator wrote.

“The factored dead load reaction alone leaves very little remaining capacity for any snow load.”

The expert recommended “temporary shoring posts should be installed.”

The second safety concern identified, was in relation to the shear wall above the mezzanine on the King Street side of the building.

“This upper shear wall must resist a factored windshear of about 29 kN (kilonewtons) and transfer the shear down to the lower shear wall.”

READ MORE: Council approves Home Hardware outdoor retail space application

The expert found this wall has “only about 24 per cent of the shear strength required. In addition, the effective segments of the wall do not have hold-downs located properly at each end of the effective segment to resist the overturning forces.”

The regulatory body of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists concluded: “We cannot provide for the safety of the public currently using the Smithers Home Hardware. That responsibility is for the Town of Smithers.”

Before presentation of the report to council, Coun. John Buikema recused himself from the discussion because members of his family own Home Hardware. After his departure, the councillors each took a moment to express how strongly council supports Smithers businesses, and how “regrettable and unfortunate this situation is, but when it comes to public safety, that must be our first priority.”

The motion to accept the report to Council and to issue the remedial action order was passed unanimously with Buikema abstaining.

-with files from Thom Barker



deb.meissner@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

Volunteer Robbie McKnight works the screening table at the Coast Mountain College COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Smithers. (Deb Meissner photo)
Smithers clinic expands vaccine eligibility to ages 60+

Community members born in 1961 or earlier can now call for an appointment at 1-844-255-7555

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

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

The Smithers Local Health Area reported just six new cases of COVID-19 for the week of March 21 - 27. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly COVID cases decline in Smithers and Northwest

Smithers community members born in 1951 or before (70 years old) now eligible for vaccination

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

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

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read