Ladysmith downtown washroom project needs get flush with funds

Kinsmen project still needs more than $20,000 to advance

Gerry Beltgens Special to the Chronicle

A push to bring a finishing touch to downtown Ladysmith is closer, but it still needs your help.

“First Avenue was awarded Canada’s the best community main street and there are no public washrooms,” said Kinsmen spokesperson Duck Patterson. “That is something that the Kinsmen want to address. Together we have raised close to $57,000 but we are still $23,000 short.”

More than two years ago, Ladysmith council gave its blessing to a plan to add public washrooms on 1st Avenue in an alley between the Royal Bank building and the health food store, and the Kinsmen have been raising money ever since.

The total cost will be around $80,000 to install two bathrooms with toilets, sinks and change tables. The building will also have a separate room to hold cleaning supplies as well as plumbing, electrical and heating equipment.

Plans call for the existing bench as well as two ornamental cherry trees to remain and the pathway leading to the public parking and dance studio behind will be enhanced using brick pavers to match what is already at the location. Improved lighting for the facility as well as lighting the path and alley are also planned.

“We hired an architect to do a professional rendering as well we got more support letters and did an even more detailed budget and again used the services of an experienced grant writer and submitted our application to BC Gaming but again were turned down,” Kinsman treasurer Mike Richardson said.

“If we had received the grant the club would have started to build in early spring, but now we will have to wait until we get closer to our financial goal.”

The Town agreed to contribute $32,000 and the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club has raised another $18,121. Along with other donors the Ladysmith & District Credit Union, Ladysmith Eagles, Ladysmith Rotary and Nanaimo Airport Commission have each agreed to provide $1,000 for a total of close to $57,000.

The Town’s share came from the sale of a laneway to the Ladysmith & District Credit Union in 2014.

“Our club has a very good record of building community projects,” said Patterson. “We felt that building these washrooms for Ladysmith’s downtown would be a great asset for the community.”

The Kinsmen have set up the “Downtown Bathroom” account at the Ladysmith and District Credit Union which donors can make direct deposits into. For more information, contact Paterson at 250-245-2263.

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