The Harrison Hot Springs village office, as seen from the back. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

The Harrison Hot Springs village office, as seen from the back. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Harrison village staff to get additional office space

The village has agreed to spend up to $75,000 of the COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant on a new portable

Harrison Hot Springs staff will be getting a larger work space to help workers get closer to a pre-COVID normal.

During council Monday (Jan. 18), Harrison council voted to use up to $75,000 of the village’s COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant to add an additional portable to the village office.

The building would “allow us to add office space and storage space so we could continue to work, and return to a bit of a sense of normalcy,” CAO Madeline McDonald said during the meeting.

Currently, village staff have spread out in the office the best they can, taking over the village council chambers as a copy room to create more space in the halls for people to pass each other. However, there still is not enough room for consultants and other partners to meet at the office, and filing space continues to be extremely limited — a problem that has been on the village’s radar since before the pandemic.

RELATED: New civic building proposed for Harrison Hot Springs

Back in November, Harrison Hot Springs received $675,000 from the federal and provincial government for the COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant. The village has until the end of the post-COVID recovery period, approximately 2022, to use the grant funding.

Harrison council has already agreed to spend up to $6,000 of that grant money to facilitate Zoom council meetings. It also voted down a proposal to spend $1,000 per councillor from the grant to compensate them for the use of their personal electronics for business purposes.

RELATED: Harrison Council nixes proposed tech reimbursement

Other money from the grant is earmarked for projected losses in wastewater fees, water fees and rental income from Memorial Hall. Improving worker safety in office spaces is one of the acceptable capital projects the funding can be used for.

The $75,000 project would include an approximately $40,000 portable, which would include a meeting space, storage space and a washroom. The funds would also cover the foundation installation, plumbing, electrical and siding to match the other office buildings.

McDonald said that she expects the new office space would be adjacent to the historic house that is the bulk of the village office space. Access from the new building to the council chambers and the rest of the building would be through the porch at the front of the house.

“This would sort of buy us some time in terms of the increasing pressure to look for new and bigger accommodations,” McDonald said. “COVID really showed us that we’re much too cramped in there.”

Council was in favour of the proposed spending, particularly as Counc. Gerry Palmer noted residents indicated they had “no appetite to replace building.”

“I think that no one will find fault that this will extend the life and usefulness of the building,” Palmer said.

Mayor Leo Facio also noted that if a new civic building was constructed, the portables could be useful for other activities.

After this project is paid for, the village will still have around $150,000 in COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant money that is not allocated.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs is currently undergoing a housing needs assessment, to see where the community is lacking and what its specific needs are. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer) [Harrison Hot Springs 2019]
REAL ESTATE: Finding the right property in a low inventory market

Real estate columnist Freddy Marks shares how buyers can make the most of a low inventory market

Sasquatch Mountain Resort. (Paul Henderson/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Let’s keep funds from hotel tax in the Hemlock Valley

Accommodation providers Kevin Sass and Wendy Cherry share their thoughts on a possible MRDT

The slide on the east side of Harrison Lake came down on Wednesday, Jan. 13. 2021 off Mt. Breakenridge. (Screenshot/Tery Kozma video)
Harrison Lake landslide prompts investigation, discussion after brief tsunami concern

The January slide saw a small amount of soil come off the side of Mt. Breakenridge

Stock image
EDITORIAL: Graduation is too important to let students fail

We need to do more to ensure every student graduates high school, editor Grace Kennedy writes

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged with criminal negligence in Coquihalla crash is accused of ignoring smoking brakes

Just before crashing the smoking truck was seen entering Zopkios brake check and leaving shortly after

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

An official investigation will be launched after VPD officers were recorded posing near a dead body at Third Beach on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
VIDEO: Vancouver officers under review for allegedly laughing, taking pictures next to dead body

Two officers were caught on video by a local beachgoer Wednesday morning in Stanley Park

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
‘Stay local’: Dr. Henry shoots down spring break travel for British Columbians

B.C. is reportedly working with other provincial governments to determine March break policies

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

(Delta Police Department photo)
B.C. youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday morning due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry sailing cancelled due to high winds, sea state

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

Most Read