Each year at the Union of BC Municipalities convention — held in Whistler last week — various community recognition awards are handed out. One of those awards is a Wood WORKS! BC award, which is presented annually to communities that have promoted the use of wood in public structures.
The City of Kimberley was one of those chosen for an award this year for the wooden bridge installed over Mark Creek. Two other wooden bridges have also been installed, one in Marysville and one near McKenzie Street.
“We congratulate these local governments for their vision and leadership by choosing wood for design and construction of their civic projects,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, Executive Director, Wood WORKS! BC. “These projects truly showcase the many attributes of wood, while connecting us with our province’s past and moving us toward a more sustainable future. Wood use in public buildings brings pride to B.C. towns and cities, and leaves a lasting legacy, which is an enduring celebration of our culture of wood.”
All three bridges were built by Tyee Log and Timber, which also congratulated the City on the award.
“We are proud to have played a key role in the design and construction of the Mark Creek Bridge. We would like to thank City Staff and Council for their support on this project.”
Mary Sjostrom is mayor of the City of Quesnel, past president of UBCM, and her community was a recipient of a Community Recognition Award in 2012. “These Community Recognition Awards are a highlight of our association meetings at UBCM. They have been presented to large and small communities throughout B.C.. Every community can and should build with wood first, and use it wherever possible, including accenting with wood products. Building with wood is good, and being recognized with a Community Recognition Award is icing on the cake.”
“We are pleased to see the tremendous use of wood in community structures throughout the province,” said James Gorman, President and CEO, Council of Forest Industries. “This is clear evidence of a new generation of local government leaders who have added ‘wood champion’ to their already overflowing leadership roles in their communities.”
“The City purchased the three wooden bridges to enhance Kimberley’s streetscapes as part of a $50,000 Enabling Accessibility Fund grant to improve accessibility for people with disabilities,” said Mayor Ron McRae.
Tyee was awarded the contract for $136,761 to build the bridges and the City spent another $3,977 in labour and materials on the accessible approaches. The end result was $30,246 for each bridge located over Mark Creek at St. Mary’s Avenue, Marysville Falls and McKenzie Street.
The improved accessibility ramp and entrance to City Hall is also being funded through a separate grant from the Enabling Accessibility Fund. The City of Kimberley would like to see more improvements in regards to accessibility and is encouraging small businesses to apply for the federal Enabling Accessibility grants for up to $50,000 to improve workplace accessibility. More information can be found on their web site at www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf/workplace.shtml. Deadline for grant applications is October 1st.
Also receiving Wood WORKS BC awards were North Central Local Government Association: Town of Smithers for the Bovill Square; Southern Interior Local Government Association: Town of Summerland for the R.C.M.P. Building; Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (includes several local governments and First Nations in the Comox Valley): Comox Valley Economic Development Society for the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre; and Lower Mainland Local Government Association: Village of Pemberton for the Downtown Community Barn.