Canadian Craftsman Builders of Smithers, has been awarded the contract to build the new fire storage unit here in Smithers.

The proposed project was said to cost $436,200, however, an additional $15,000 will now be added for solar panels to be included in the project as well. This money will be extracted from Smithers Greenhouse Gas funds.

The installation of the 2.4 kw/hr solar panels would allow heaters, lights, and power to run in mild weather, with no pull from BC Hydro. The best time to add these panels would be now, as later modifications could see the cost to install solar panels be marked up 30-40%.

Mayor Taylor Bachrach lends his expertise on the awarding of the project.

“It’s great that we’ve completed yet another step towards the construction process. Council is working to construct buildings that have a higher environmental standard, and this storage unit is no different. At the end of the day, we want to lower our greenhouse gas emissions, as well as, lower energy costs down the road. It’s been a bit of a challenging discussion because we’re breaking new ground in terms of energy efficiency within our community, however, I’m excited for the environmental future for Smithers.”

Councillor Frank Wray also chimed in on the conversation.

“I may not have necessarily agreed with every point that was brought up but this storage unit has been a long time in the making. At this point and time, we’ve done the work and I’m satisfied with the direction of this new building. We’re getting an energy efficient building and something this community so desperately needs, so I’m very happy with that.”

The new building will be constructed with a wood frame and is set to have a peaked roof. It will have a standard gas fire heater that will only supply warmth to half the building. It will also only be heated to 10 degrees year round, essentially reducing the cost of heating by a 1/3 in comparison to electrical heating.