This program provides grants to property and business owners to renovate, restore, or redesign retail and commercial building facades and storefronts in downtown Smithers. Funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust is administered by Town of Smithers.
The goal of the Smithers Storefront Spruce Up Program is to encourage owners or commercial tenants to invest in building facade upgrades that create a more interesting and appealing streetscape, attracting locals and visitors to the commercial downtown core. The program can provide grants of up to 50% of the cost of eligible improvements, to a maximum of $5,000 per building.
Public Service Announcement: Spring Melt Preparations
With the large accumulation of snow and with air temperatures warming, Smithers residents should start preparing for the ‘spring melt’.
ICE DAMMING, FROZEN EAVES AND DOWNSPOUTS
Chipping a channel in the ice dam to allow trapped melt water to flow should prevent water from seeping under shingles into the attic and from there into the dwelling. Be careful to not damage roofing. A cautious use of salt may help keep the channel free running.
Direct downspout outlets away from the building foundation and get water away from the home and out towards the lane or street.
FOUNDATION PERIMETER DRAINAGE
Foundation drainage at the footings should remove melt water from around your building if the home is connected to a storm sewer system. However, if there are excessive mounds of snow around the building be watchful for seepage into crawlspace or basement.
Check your sump pump’s operation - make sure its working! and have a replacement available.
Numerous streets do not have storm sewers and homes are equipped with sump pumps placed in shallow buckets or recessed culverts. Sump pumps must direct the pumped water outside the home to a street or lane and from there to a storm drainage ditch. A note of caution - ensure the pumped water does not run onto a neighbour’s property.
An overloaded sewer main line can cause a back-up, forcing raw sewage back into homes, and
At the end of the sewer collection system is the Town’s Sewage Treatment Plant which, if overloaded with storm water, can disturb the treatment process.
The Town Works & Operations crews are clearing culverts, ditches and catch basins on the streets with storm sewers. Homeowners are asked to assess conditions on their street to encourage proper drainage or to call Works & Operations (250-847-1649) for assistance with catch basin or ditches.
Bulkley Valley Airshed Management Society:
Bulkley Valley Airshed Management Society encourages you to sign up to their new service that provides air quality notices to be sent directly to your phone/ email by clicking on the link: http://aqadvisories.ca
Province of British Columbia:
The Province issues air quality advisories when pollutant concentrations approach or exceed predetermined limits, or when degraded-air-quality episodes are expected to continue or worsen.
Advisories are issued in order to:
inform about degraded air quality;
address smoke from wildfires, and associated heat and water quality issues;
help people make informed choices about reducing their exposure to elevated concentrations of air pollutants;
affect emission reduction actions (such as a limit on industrial emissions and/or wood stove use); and
provide vulnerable individuals and the general public with health advice developed by BC health agencies.
Please click on the following links for more information:
SMITHERS – The recent volume of snowfall has prompted residents to be concerned with accumulated snow loads on home roofs.
Homes built prior to 1985 or homes that are developing icicles or ice damming at the eaves may need some clearing. Attic ventilation—ridge vents, whirly vents, flat vents—that are blocked, may be restricting air flow that cools and removes moisture from the attic. Heat escaping from the house and trapped in attic spaces can melt snow at the shingles and cause a flow of water to the cold overhang at the soffits. So clearing vents is a place to start!
The BC Building Code establishes the Ground Snow Load which is used to calculate the Roof Snow Load that engineers and builders factor in construction. The Ground Snow Load has changed over the past three decades: 1985—2.2 Kpa, 1998—2.7 Kpa, 2003—2.9 Kpa, 2006 to present—3.2 Kpa.
The Town of Smithers’ current ground snow load is 3.2 kPa plus 0.2 kPa rain component, for a total 3.4 kPa, or 69 lbs/ft2. For building design, this value is generally reduced by 40% for residential buildings and by 20% for commercial buildings, known as the specified roof snow loads. This equates to 41psf for residential and 55psf for commercial.
Pure water density is around 1000 kg (or one tonne) per cubic metre or 62.4 lbs per cubic foot. Newly fallen snow more typically weighs 70 to 150 kg per cubic metre (4.4 to 9.4 lbs/cubic foot). Typically winter snowpacks have a density of 200-300 kg per cubic metre (12.5-18.7 lbs per cubic foot).
If we use 300kg/m3 (18.7pcf), then the current design depth of snow on roofs is 2.2ft on residential and 2.9ft on commercial. Owners should consider removing the snow if the packed accumulated snow exceeds these depths. If heavy rains fall on these snow depths, the roof loading and risks of structure failure increase significantly.
Owners of older homes and buildings that were designed to a lighter snow load should consider removing snow at lower depths than those listed above.
1. Do not shovel alone – have a spotter
2. Use fall-restraint or a rope safety line
3. Do not over-exert yourself
4. Remove snow evenly from the roof to avoid unbalanced loading
5. Do not shovel all the way to the roof surface – leave 50mm (2 inches)
6. COMMERCIAL BUILDING ROOFS—Do not clear onto public sidewalks or roadways unless barricades are set up, and follow up to clear the right of way for public safety.
Please click here to view the following PDF documents:
Supportive Housing Project – 3896 Railway Ave. at Queen Street
BC Housing is preparing to construct a 24-unit Supportive Housing facility at 3896 Railway Ave, at the corner of Queen St. in 2018. The land is owned by the Town of Smithers; BC Housing will enter a 40-year lease with the Town. Smithers Community Services Associaiton will become the operators of the facility.
Bulkley Valley Arts and Culture Centre Pre-Feasibility Study
The Town of Smithers is completing a “Bulkley Valley Arts & Culture Centre Pre-Feasibility Study” to identify tenants, uses and programming for a new Bulkley Valley Arts & Culture Centre to be located in the historic Central Park of Smithers. The study will also be used to create a clear picture for the overall vision and concept for a new Bulkley Valley Arts and Culture Centre.
October 2017 Update: Join Smithers’ Mayor and Council in a Town Hall Forum on October 19, 2017 (6:30 pm at Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge) to discuss the present and future of key arts and culture facilities.
September 19, 2017 Update: At this public meeting, Council met with potential future tenant groups and discussed the findings from the pre-feasibility study and next steps.
August 22, 2017 Update: A public meeting was held to discuss next steps in the planning process. Council directed Staff to schedule a meeting with potential future tenants (September 19, 2017) and a Town Hall Public Forum later this fall (October 19, 2017).
June 20, 2017 Update: A public presentation to Town Council was held at Council's Chambers on June 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm. Based on feedback to date, the consultants presented an analysis, which considered three sites in Smithers: 1) Central Park; 2) Bovill Square, and; 3) Veteran's Park and current Library site.
May 2017 Update: A public open house was held at the Farmer's Market on May 20th, 2017, that asked the community members to comment on the workshop deliberations (ideas and relationships of uses within the proposed facility) as well as, share their vision for the park itself. Please click here for more information.
The Resource Benefits Alliance was formed to seek a share of revenues that will flow to government from future development. This revenue would enable communitiies to address current impacts arising from major resource development, service and infrastructure deficits in communities and to leave a legacy in Northwest British Columbia.
WATER CONSERVATION PROGRAM
WATERING RESTRICTIONS AS PER BYLAW NO. 1811
The Town of Smithers wishes to remind all residents that water restrictions are in force from April 15 until October 31 for residents on Town water supply only.
Water sprinkling is permitted on:
ODD numbered addresses – on ODD numbered days
EVEN numbered addresses – on EVEN numbered days
These restrictions are required to ensure that adequate water supply is available for fire fighting purposes, and to keep the costs of delivering water to a minimum. Further restrictions may be imposed if required.
Hand sprinkling of flowers and shrubs with a controlled nozzle is allowed at any time.
The Town of Smithers thanks you for your assistance in the sensible and moderate use of water.
Home > News & Notices > Public Service Announcement: Emergency Preparedness “How to Prepare in the Event of an Emergency”
Public Service Announcement: Emergency Preparedness “How to Prepare in the Event of an Emergency”
#2017-05 For Immediate Release
July 11, 2017
Preparing for an emergency is important and something everyone should do. Here are three simple steps to help prepare your family to face a range of emergencies:
1. Have an emergency kit – Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Your kit should include:
3 day supply of water & non-perishable food (for every person and pet)
flashlight & batteries
battery-powered or wind-up AM/FM radio
first aid kit
seasonal clothing & footwear
toiletries & medications
cell phone, charger & out of area contact card
local maps & cash in small bills
copies of important documents
2. Make a plan – Every household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do if disaster strikes. Make a plan, share it with your family and practice your plan.
3. Stay informed – In an event of an emergency, listen to local radio. Information on where to gather and safe routes of exit will be shared on the radio, online media and the Town website www.smithers.ca.
Information on how to make an emergency plan and suggestions for what goes into a basic kit, can be found on the Prepared BC website at www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC.
For more information, contact Smithers Fire Rescue at 250-847-2015.
Thank you for being prepared!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Smithers Fire Rescue
Smithers Age Friendly Assessment & Action Plan 2016
In early 2016 the Town of Smithers applied for and received funding through UBCM’s BC Healthy Communities’ Seniors Housing and Support Initiative Age Friendly Planning grant program to carry out an Age Friendly Assessment and Action Plan.
In the summer and fall of 2016 Access Smithers and four independent contractors carried out an assessment and drafted this action plan. The Town of Smithers requested the assessment and action plan, focus on outdoor spaces, sidewalks, trails, public buildings and municipal recreation infrastructure as well as current town policy and plans.
This age friendly assessment and action plan will be helpful in developing implementation strategies, prioritizing municipal projects, budgeting for improvements and allocating staff for the identified and recommended improvements. Engaging the local community through surveys, direct outreach and meetings helped to identify priority areas and tested our assumptions about accessibility in Smithers.
Smithers' Age Friendly Assessment & Action Plan 2016 is the result of community engagement, surveys, meetings and discussions with seniors and stakeholder groups in the community.
The plan is divided into the following sections:
The Background - introduces the age friendly community concept and the role of local government.
The Assessment - reviews the current status of Smithers based on public statistics, survey results, detailed assessments and public feedback on the municipality’s outdoor spaces, sidewalks, trails, public buildings, recreation infrastructure and policies/plans. This section includes top recommendations for each location and general recommendations for the Town.
The Action Plan - takes the recommendations from the above focused assessment, identifies priority areas and suggests action steps as well as indicators for success.
Home > News & Notices > “Climate Change: Effects and Predictions for Smithers and Area” presentation by Dr. Mel Reasoner
“Climate Change: Effects and Predictions for Smithers and Area” presentation by Dr. Mel Reasoner
On October 7, 2016, Dr. Mel Reasoner delivered the presentation "Climate Change: Effects and Predictions for Smithers and Area" in Smithers.
Dr. Reasoner holds a PhD in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Alberta.
Dr. Reasoner's research focused on past climate change and vegetation history in western North America and he taught courses in weather and climate, climate change, paleoclimatology and geology.
He directed an international initiative (sponsored by the Swiss Academy of Science) that focuses on global change issues in mountain regions worldwide and became involved in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as a lead author of a chapter that examines atmospheric conditions and trends in mountain systems.
Over the last 7 years, Mel contributed to the Columbia Basin Trust’s 'Communities Adapting to Climate Change Initiative' as a member of the technical support team and delivered many climate science presentations for this initiative.
He is currently working as a climate consultant in the Nelson area for Climate Resilience Consultants (CRC) and has delivered workshops like this one in about 30 communities.
Wildsafe BC has developed a new wildlife mapping program designed to track human-wildlife interactions across the province. The Wildlife Alert Reporting Program gives users a convenient way to both log and track wild animals in their area and across the province. The program is an expansion of the highly successful BearAware program.
Incidents of wildlife reported to the Conservation Officer Service can now be found online under the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program on the website wildsafebc.com/warp.
The first thing you need to do when water conservation is suggested is to assess your property and make decisions about lawns, plantings and water use.
Re-think your lawn. Perhaps your priorities have changed and you can do with less lawn. Irrigated lawns require five times more water than other landscape plants and although it is the least expensive planting initially, in the long run it takes far more in maintenance time and cost than other plantings and is the largest drain on outdoor water.
If reducing or eliminating your lawn is not an option, make sure your grass is growing where it will thrive. Many homeowners try to maintain grass where it simply does not grow well. Even in the best of watering conditions, grass is not the best choice under trees, on steep slopes, along paved or cemented areas or where there is heavy foot traffic. There are alternatives to grass: plants; ground covers like kinnikinick (dried leaves and bark of various plants); and hardscaping with bricks and pebbles.
You may need to prioritize which of your plants will receive the most water. If your garden is small enough, watering by hand or with a hose equipped with a shut-off device should not be difficult. However, if your gardens are extensive, you may not be able to adequately care for all vegetation with hand watering and may wish to consider a micro/drip irrigation system. If you already have an in-ground irrigation system, you can convert it to micro system. To make outdoor watering work, you should determine which plants are most susceptible to stress or are most valuable in terms of replacement cost, prominence in the landscape and enjoyment.
Examine all garden areas to make sure that plantings are grouped according to water requirements. You may need to move or adjust plantings to make their water needs match; placing water guzzlers next to water sippers is inefficient. Place plants with high water requirements in areas that receive water naturally, like drainage ways, depressions or at the bottom of hills.
Lawns normally go into a summer dormancy when regular rainfall decreases and temperatures increase. They stop growing and often turn brown. This is a normal process and does not mean the lawn will die. In dry weather, keep off the lawn as much as possible. Grass blades become brittle without water and are more easily damaged.
How much water?
Lawns need only 25 mm (1 inch) of water per week, including rain. Longer, infrequent watering will help to develop deeper, healthier roots. Keep your grass two to two and half inches high and you will help the soil retain moisture and reduce evaporation from sunlight and wind.
Aerate your lawn
Aerating promotes grass roots to absorb all the natural moisture that is available. Aerating also lets air flow into the soil and provides the grass roots with oxygen. You can aerate simply by stabbing the lawn with a gardening fork or by renting a powered aerator.
De-thatch you lawn.
Thatch is the layer of organic matter that forms between the blades of grass and the soil. A thin layer of thatch can be beneficial, preventing evaporation of water from the topsoil. Too much thatch can be harmful and can rob the roots of the oxygen and water needed for healthy growth. Remove the thatch from your lawn at least once a year, using a rake, a thatching attachment on your mower or a thatching machine.
A well-balanced soil that is properly watered should not need fertilizer. Don’t give your lawn too much fertilizer, as it might outgrow its soil limitations and watering regime. Avoid applying fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides during the dormant period.
Consider replacing some areas of the lawn with low-growing ground covers or herbs. Another alternative is to cover parts of your garden with hardscape made from natural or synthetic materials, such as flat rocks, flagstones, concrete, asphalt or compact gravel.
Keep mower blades sharp to avoid tearing the grass.
Don’t cut wet grass
Set mower height to leave 50 to 65 mm (two to two and half inches)
Leave grass clippings to decompose; they act as mini-mulch to reduce evaporation.
Flower and Vegetable Gardens
About 70 to 80 per cent of all plant problems are directly related to incorrect watering.
Water around the base of plants slowly and deeply — moistening the top 4 to 6 inches of soil — at least once a week. Light, frequent watering is harmful because it encourages shallow root growth and enhances germination of weed seeds. You can check the soil wetting depth with a screwdriver or stake.
Water plants early in the morning to avoid evaporation from the sun and wind.
Watering in the middle of the day increases the amount of water lost to evaporation by as much as 40 percent.
Consider installing drought-tolerant native plantings. A drought-tolerant plant can survive with very little, if any, artificial watering or irrigation once it is established. Natural rainfall is usually enough for these plants, if they’re growing in the right habitat (i.e. one similar to their natural habitat), and they can usually survive weeks of dry weather.
Plants with gray, fuzzy, waxy or finely divided leaves are also considered drought- tolerant. Perennials like daylilies, flax, pinks, bellflowers and peonies thrive under dry conditions. Annuals like cosmos, sage, mallow and California poppies are also drought-tolerant and provide season-long colour in your garden. Check with your garden centre for further suggestions.
Mulching around plants reduces the number of weeds (which compete for water) and conserves soil moisture and moderates soil temperatures. The recommended depth for mulches is 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm). Good mulches are straw, bark, gravel or wood chips.
Trees and Shrubs
When watering trees and large shrubs, water around the drip-line of the tree (area below the branches where water drips from the leaves) — not at the trunk. A great way to water trees is to use milk or water jugs. Fill with water and poke small holes about 8 in the bottom of each. Place these around the drip line of each tree. The water seeps out slowly into soil near the roots, where the tree needs water the most.
Avoid heavy direct watering by hose, which can wash away soil, exposing the roots to pests and disease, and making shrubs and small trees more susceptible to blow down.
Keep turf at least two feet from the trunks of young or newly planted trees as it will compete with the trees for water. Consider applying mulch in this area.
Weed regularly. Weeds will compete with your plantings for moisture.
Consider installing a micro/drip irrigation system. These systems can be tailored effectively to individual plant and garden needs. During even the most stringent water conservation measure, micro and drip irrigation systems can be used to water flowers, trees, shrubs and vegetables.
Make sure hoses are in perfect condition. A hose delivers about 27 litres of water per minute so a leaking hose or coupling can add up to significant water waste.
Use nonporous containers like glazed pots, as they are more efficient at retaining water. Also, use larger containers (pots 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter and larger) as the larger the volume of soil, the slower it dries. Nest smaller pots inside larger ones and insulate the space between the pots with potting soil. This will keep the roots cool and will slow down evaporation.
Consider collecting and recycling water by installing rain barrels outside of your home. Installing rain barrels at the downspouts of your eaves troughs is a great way to collect rainwater to use on your planters or in the garden during our dry summer months. Make sure each barrel has a secured lid to prevent children gaining access; this also will discourage breeding mosquitoes, prevent contamination and keep out wildlife. You will also need an overflow attachment and hose attachment for watering.
The Town of Smithers has been working with Alpine Village Estates to re-establish the closed section of the Town’s perimeter trail that was on Alpine Village Estates property adjacent to Chicken Creek.
In the spring of 2014, this portion of the trail was closed to the public due to creek bank erosion and land slippage undermining the trail. It was determined that the Alpine Village Estates storm sewer caused the bank erosion and slippage. As a result the Town of Smithers discharged the Right of Way that permitted the Town’s trail to cross the Alpine Village Estates property and closed this portion of the trail.
The Town has offered to pay the legal costs to re-establish the Right of Way and re-build the failed portion of the Town’s perimeter trail at an estimated cost of $40,000 for fencing, legal fees, engineering and construction. This would allow that section of the Perimeter Trail to be re-opened to the public and to be maintained by the Town.
Unfortunately the Town of Smithers has been unable to come to an agreement with Alpine Village Estates on the offer to re-instate the closed portion of the trail. The Town acknowledges that this section of the Perimeter Trail is very important public infrastructure and will seek to assess alternate options.
Home > News & Notices > SAGA Releases “Smithers 2014 Homelessness Council Findings Report”
SAGA Releases “Smithers 2014 Homelessness Council Findings Report”
The “Smithers 2014 Homelessness Council Findings Report” report represents the findings of a mixed-methods research project commissioned by the Smithers Action Group Association (SAGA) to identify the number of homeless individuals in Smithers, the issues facing them and their service housing needs. An additional component of this report is a small survey conducted with individuals potentially facing housing affordability issues or at risk of homelessness who were accessing meal programs in Smithers. The Smithers Homeless Count was conducted on November 28, 2014. The Count provides an estimate of the Smithers homeless population on one day – November 28, 2014. It also provides results of key informant interviews, and the results of a survey of two meal programs hosted on November 28 and 29th, 2014.
Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) Report 2015
The following Report meets the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) requirements to publicly report the work the local government is undertaking to reduce both corporate and community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the current year and intended actions for the following year.
Notice to All Builders & Developers - Building Setbacks
The Town's Zoning Bylaw specifies the required building setbacks from the property lines. Due to recent building setback errors during construction, the Town of Smithers will be strictly enforcing the following sections from the Building Bylaw No. 1673:
9. Applications for Complex Buildings
22.214.171.124 Location and dimensions of all statutory rights of way, easements and setback requirements;
10. Applications for Standard Buildings
10.1.3.3 Location and dimensions of all statutory rights of way, easements and setback requirements;
17.4.2 Prior to placing any concrete for the footings or foundations, the owner or authorized agent shall notify the building official and request a site visit to document the various aspects of the foundation and where in the opinion of the building official, the siting regulations may be contravened, the owner shall provide a site plan per 9.1.3 or 10.1.3.
For clarification, the site plan noted above must be provided with all building permit applications. The Building Inspector will not require a second site plan be provided, but may require that a legal surveyor or qualified professional perform a site visit to confirm the foundation wall formwork is not encroaching into required yard setbacks from the property lines. In these cases, approval to proceed with pouring the concrete foundation wall will not be given until the setbacks are confirmed. In the case of preserved wood foundations, the setbacks must be confirmed similarly, before the Building Inspector approves further construction.
Mark Allen, P.Eng.
Director of Development Services
Now available, Smithers' Community Profile, for access to a wealth of information on the community's labour market, employers, land availability, taxation, and infrastructure. Click here to view the 2012 Smithers Community Profile.