The Visitor Information Kiosk, normally a landmark outside Agassiz, lies a small distance from its perch after it was torn down during a mid-October windstorm. District officials are looking into options to restore the kiosk or create a new, similar one. (Contributed photo/District of Kent)

The Visitor Information Kiosk, normally a landmark outside Agassiz, lies a small distance from its perch after it was torn down during a mid-October windstorm. District officials are looking into options to restore the kiosk or create a new, similar one. (Contributed photo/District of Kent)

Kent council considers sign repairs, public art

A brief Monday meeting held a full agenda for district officials

The district’s legacy of farming may have a bigger place in the sun soon.

Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society members Bev Kennedy and Roy Vander Wyk spoke before the District of Kent Council during a brief, Oct. 26 meeting, proposing public art displays to exhibit the large logging and farming artifacts in public parks and outdoor spaces throughout the district.

Kennedy said there are a number of larger artifacts that could be better displayed in a secure, outdoor setting. She and Vander Wyk suggest placing these artifacts under a timber frame kiosk with a slab as the bottom. The historical society hopes to pay for the project through grant funding, coming to the council to seek support for the undertaking.

“It has long been an issue and a challenge at the [Agassiz-Harrison Museum] to display our agricultural history,” Kennedy told the council. She added the artifacts were at times stored on local farms and district work yards.

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Initially, the society hoped to apply for funding under the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure program, but the deadline was three days away from the council meeting and they elected to seek other funding means instead.

Though there aren’t many incidents on record, local outdoor artifacts have been the subject of vandalism and damage before, as seen at the Agassiz-Harrison Museum earlier this summer when the caboose and speeder cars in front of the museum were broken into, the suspects allegedly leaving used syringes behind. Kennedy told the council they had a plan to prevent human-caused damages, saying they “have a real eye for security.”

Kennedy said the shelters would not only allow for conservation of the artifacts but would also keep them in public view for visitors and residents alike to enjoy. Proposed artifact sites include Centennial Park and local school grounds.

Mayor Sylvia Pranger said district officials would make their decision and get back to the historical society in the near future.

In other council business, the council has aksed staff to delve further into options to repair and restore the visitor information kiosk that would normally stand just outside the Teacup properties bordering the Agassiz townsite. The Oct. 13 windstorm that ripped through much of the Fraser Valley tore the sign from its time-worn posts, tossing it a short distance from its normal perch.

Director of community services and projects Jennifer Thornton estimates the cost for repairs amounts to $5,000; the main repairs would be to the wood posts, which were worn out due to rot even with partial aluminum covers in place. According to a report form Chris Hardy, district public works foreman, the cost for materials and repair time means it would be in the district’s best interest to rebuild a similar-looking model from scratch; this is due in part to the complexity of the roof system of the original structure.

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The original kiosk was built in 1990. Mayor Pranger commented the fact that the kiosk withstood so many winters and windstorms until very recently is a testament to how well it was built in the first place.

Coun. Duane Post said the Agassiz Community Garden was successful this year with 44 plots all being used and a request for seven more; the current plan moving forward is to build four more, and Coun. Post expects this to work out well. There’s already a wait list for the 2021 growing year. A donation from the Kent Harrison Foundation went to supply the community garden with a garden shed.

Coun. Stan Watchorn highlighted the need for the community to remain COVID-aware and to continue to work hard as a community and a province to manage it and re-flatten the curve.

“Remember, as COVID cases are increasing in the province, please be extra careful and keep your bubbles small,” Mayor Pranger added. “Where masks where they are mandatory. I think it’s all of our responsibility to keep each other safe.”

Mayor Pranger said she received the flu shot this year and said she’s seen a line unlike years past. The flu shot is available in Agassiz at Rexall Pharmacies and at Shoppers Drug Mart. If Fraser Health requests a mass clinic in the area for flu shots, the district has plans in place should it come to pass.

The next District of Kent Council meeting is scheduled for November 9 at 7 p.m. at Municipal Hall. Please remember COVID-19 restrictions are in place and prepare accordingly.

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