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Telkwa forging ahead with renovations to the old fire hall

Village to apply for more grant money to help pay for the upgrades
Telkwa sign. (File photo)

Telkwa continues to look for the money needed for renovations of the village’s old fire hall.

Last month, council directed staff to apply for $30,000 from the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Community Spaces Program to help top up the financing for the extensive project.

Fire hall #2 was built in 1980 and used as Telkwa’s fire hall on the west side of the Bulkley River until 2015. The hall will be renovated to create a multipurpose, accessible indoor space that can be used for a variety of indoor community activities such as community programs, health clinic, rental space for meetings and community events and family indoor activities.

It had been leased to the Bulkley Valley Kinsmen Club for the past several years. The club has been given notice that renovations will commence once they have vacated it. They must be out by October 2. The village has provided the Kinsmen space elsewhere for their equipment and supplies.

According to a staff report, the current integrity of the hall’s structure is good but updates and repairs need to be done to prevent the building from deteriorating and to bring it to current standards, including accessibility, building codes and energy efficiency.

The list includes replacing fluorescent lighting with LED lighting; replacing an existing gas unit heater; adding an accessibility entrance and washrooms; insulating the attic space; replacing wood pane windows, roof shingles and siding and gutters.

The floor would also be resurfaced with a concrete finish making it durable for all activities. Interior modications could also combine the garage and meeting space into one, multipurpose area.

Based on a 2021 estimate; the costs for the project were around $430, 000, including a contingency.

Earlier this year, the renovation costs for this project were secured. However, village staff said additional funding from NDIT’s Community Spaces Program will cover additional capital expenditures necessary for the successful implementation of the project, such as kitchen and washroom renovations and appliances, etc.

In March, council passed the staff recommendation to proceed with funding allocations toward the renovations: this includes $50,000 from Local Government Climate Action Program’s 2024 funding, $100,264 from the LGCAP 2022-2023 budget, an additional $10,000 from COVID-19 Reserve Funds from the 2024 budget, and $150,000 from the Provincial Growing Communities Fund. Council also directed staff to apply for the Regional District Bulkley-Nechako Gas Tax for $100,000 toward the renovations.

READ MORE: Fire hall approved for Telkwa


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Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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