Smithers wins redevelopment award

Honour given out by the FCM at their Sustainable Communities Conference in Charlottetown, PEI last week

The Town of Smithers won a Sustainable Community Award last week for a pair of brownfield redevelopment projects.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities highlighted two sites with the award: the remediation of 1089 Main St. and the building of Bovill Square and the redevelopment of the former Husky lot at Highway 16 and Main Street.

The honour was given out by the FCM at their Sustainable Communities Conference in Charlottetown, PEI.

“This award was won by our whole community, especially the Centennial Committee, Smithers Rotary, town staff and local contractors who worked so hard to redevelop these two sites in time for our Homecoming last summer,” said Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach, who was on hand for the presentation.

The Town of Smithers paid $467,485 to purchase and remediate the lot at 1089 Main St. and for other contributions like landscaping and storm sewer and irrigation installation.

The total cost of the lot and building the stage at Bovill Square, including volunteer time and labour, was almost $800,000.

“Bovill Square is meant as a permanent legacy of our town’s centennial,” Bachrach said  “Town council felt it was important to clean up the site and leave future generations a positive legacy and a vibrant public space.”

Bovill Square took centre stage during last summer’s Centennial celebrations until a fire tore through adjacent buildings. The lot was previously home to a service station.

The Smithers Rotary Club’s entrance park was also built on the site of a former service station. The Town of Smithers leased the lot from Husky Oil for 10 years.

The park was completed entirely using donations of time, labour and money, said Rotary president Steve Kerbrat. Club member Tom Havard was the main catalyst behind the project, he said.

It cost about $25,000 to fix the site up.

“Our big goal in this community is to improve it,” Kerbrat said. “While we were building it, people were using it so we knew it would be a success right away. With the mural on the wall of Subway, I think it’s made a huge difference.”