Skelton House Receives Municipal Heritage Designation
At the Regular Meeting of Council on March 20, 2018, Chilliwack City Council adopted the heritage designation for the Skelton House. Heritage designations within Chilliwack are voluntary and only done at the request of the property owner. All heritage applications are substantiated by a report from a qualified heritage consultant prior to Council adoption.
Members of the public are invited to attend the presentation of a Municipal Heritage Site plaque for the Skelton House on May 23, 2018.
Heritage Plaque Presentation Information:
Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: 45483 Spadina Avenue
Constructed in 1913, the Skelton House is a one and a half storey Craftsman-style house located in a then-prominent site opposite the historic fairgrounds. The house features a full open front veranda with tapered piers, an inset second floor balcony and front gable roof and dormer windows.
“It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to recognize the historic value of the Skelton House to our community and to recognize its current owners for their ongoing efforts to preserve this piece of Chilliwack’s history,” said Mayor Gaetz.
The Skelton House is a historic representation of the residential and commercial growth in Chilliwack in the years prior to World War I. A thriving agricultural settlement, Chilliwack saw the BC Electric Railway linking the community with New Westminster completed in 1910 and a post office, hospital, city hall and high school all built before 1914. The original occupants, the Skeltons, were a well-known entrepreneurial and socially activity family, and the social value of this historic house is found in the engagement of the Skeltons with their community.
The Skelton House at 45483 Spadina Avenue is a well-maintained residential property. The heritage designation and upcoming plaque presentation for the Skelton House support the City’s Official Community Plan goal to foster a greater public awareness and appreciation about Chilliwack’s history and cultural heritage. Under the City’s Heritage Designation Policy, the Skelton House will be preserved for generations to come by the municipal heritage designation bylaw.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2018
City of Chilliwack Disappointed with National Energy Board Ruling
In January 2018, the City of Chilliwack participated in the Kinder Morgan route realignment hearing as an intervenor, presenting evidence against the proposed realignment to the National Energy Board (NEB).
Since the beginning of the process, the City invested significant staff time and resources to participate in the NEB hearings. Concerns about the protection of the Sardis-Vedder aquifer and Chilliwack’s natural areas were presented by the City repeatedly.
There are eight wells in the Sardis-Vedder aquifer, which provide clean drinking water to the residents of Chilliwack. The City presented evidence at the NEB realignment hearing that the pipeline reroute would be within or very near the City well capture zone, meaning that spills and leaks from the pipeline could flow into those wells within 126 days of an initial leak. Despite knowing this, Kinder Morgan has not supplied adequate information about the steps they will take to ensure the City’s drinking water will remain safe and clean.
The April 2018 report from the NEB confirms that the expected burden of the Chilliwack realignment compared to the approved TMEP corridor includes a slightly higher probability that oil from a pipeline leak or spill that makes its way to the groundwater would then make its way to the City water wells.
“I was disappointed to learn of the National Energy Board’s decision to approve the Kinder Morgan route realignment in Chilliwack, especially given the probability that oil from a leak could make its way to our water wells,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “We presented compelling evidence at the National Energy Board hearing in January as an intervenor and will continue to make our case at every opportunity, including the detailed route hearings in September.”
“I would like to thank everyone in Chilliwack that has joined us in fighting to protect the Sardis Aquifer and Browne Creek Wetlands. Drinking water is one of our most valuable resources and ensuring its protection remains a top priority,” said Mayor Gaetz.
The City of Chilliwack will participate in the detailed route hearings in September 2018, and Council will discuss additional options moving forward.
To view the full route realignment report from the NEB, please visit chilliwack.com/NEBReport.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2018
New Public Art Piece at Evans Roundabout
Chilliwack, BC: The Evans Roundabout is about to become the first roundabout in Chilliwack to feature a public art piece. In 2017, the Chilliwack Public Art Advisory Committee selected ‘Giant Flowers’ by artist Ronald Simmer for installation at the Evans Roundabout to enrich the visual environment of the community.
The piece will feature an arrangement of five 25 foot tall multi-coloured flowers. Each flower will feature ten petals, painted in a broad array of bright colours. The flower stalks will be illuminated at night by ground-based floodlights and each flower head will be lit with LED lights.
Roundabout design requires that the driver’s view across the centre of the circle be blocked, either by plantings or manmade structures. There are many examples in our region where art, or manmade landscape features have been used to improve the aesthetics of the neighbourhood. The design requirement to block the driver’s view across the roundabout is necessary and required for safe roundabout operation.
The City of Chilliwack supports public art with the Chilliwack Public Art Policy. In order for a public art piece to be considered, an application must be submitted to the City and reviewed by the Chilliwack Public Art Advisory Committee. The Chilliwack Public Art Advisory Committee consists of community members who volunteer their time to provide City Council with a recommendation in line with the Chilliwack Public Art Policy in an area in which they are knowledgeable. After the committee makes its selection, a recommendation is brought before City Council, who approves all public art pieces.
“Public art has the power to energize and enhance our public spaces, make us think and transform where we live, work and play,” said Mayor Gaetz. “It is a council priority to foster a sense of pride in our community and public artwork, such as roundabout art, contributes to this feeling.”
“We recognize that art is subjective, and some people will enjoy this piece more than others,” said Councillor Sue Attrill, Chair of the Chilliwack Public Art Advisory Committee. “Mayor and Council strive to provide a wide variety of recreational and cultural experiences to meet the needs of all residents of Chilliwack. What improves the quality of life for one resident may be quite different for another. One thing I am certain of is that this piece will get people talking about art, which is wonderful.”
‘Giant Flowers’ is one of many public art pieces enhancing public spaces in Chilliwack. Since its inception, the Chilliwack Public Art Advisory Committee has also been instrumental in the approval of several notable public art pieces, including the Bookman mural, photo wrapped hydro boxes, the Canada 150 Mosaic Mural, and the mural at Five Corners.
The Evans Road roundabout is visible from the Trans-Canada Highway and hosts a significant amount of local traffic. Establishing a piece of public art in this location will present a visually impactful first impression of Chilliwack and make the roundabout safer to use.