FortisBC has awarded the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club $15,000 toward the Ladysmith Downtown Public Washroom project. The project was one of four across B.C. to receive funding from the FortisBC Community Giving Awards.
“We would like to express our gratitude for the work the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club does, and their commitment to helping others. They are working hard to respond to the unique needs of their community, and we’re confident the funds will be used in ways that will have a lasting, positive impact,” Jas Baweja said on behalf of FortisBC.
Kinsmen Club member and Ladysmith town councillor, Duck Paterson said that the $15,000 award from FortisBC has moved the Downtown Public Washroom project to shovel ready status.
“There’s still some things that we want to do – we’re still pursuing hot water in the washroom, which was not included in the original budget. And we want to include baby change tables in each of the washrooms,” Paterson said.
The Kinsmen are also planning to put lighting in the walkway that runs alongside the Ladysmith Health Foods Store, and the future washroom site.
Paterson is hopeful the project can start in November 2020 – however there is no set timeline for the project to begin. Once construction begins on the Downtown Public Washroom, the temporary washroom that currently occupies the site will be removed.
There is still a need for funding for certain elements of the project. The Kinsmen hope to install a community map nearby, and feature a collage of historical photos of downtown Ladysmith – similar to the existing collage outside the Ladysmith RBC branch.
Ladysmith Mayor, Aaron Stone said that if all goes well, the public washroom will be in service for spring or summer 2021.
“It’s one of those amenities that every downtown needs, especially in such an active area of our downtown,” Stone said. “It’s something we’ve needed for a long time.”
At this stage, there are no set hours of operation for the facility. The Town has an operational budget set aside to maintain the facility once it is completed.