Smithers Council to Again Consider Variance for CT Scanner Project

John Crawford

Emotions are likely to run high tonight as Smithers Council once again confronts the issue of how to ensure the CT scanner project goes ahead at the Bulkley Valley Regional Hospital.

At issue is a Smithers bylaw that forces a property owner making renovations of over 100-thousand dollars to also bring the property's frontage up to municipal standards.

Mayor Taylor Bachrach said after Northern Health balked at the original price tag of about half-a-million dollars, council hoped a reduced figure of $130,000 would be an acceptable compromise -- but today, the health authority said no to that too.


Council had voted two weeks ago against issuing a variance, but he says public reaction has made it clear the matter has to be revisited.

 "Right now, people are driving to Terrace to get CT scans and we've heard loudly and clearly from the community that they want to see that CT scanner in there no matter what, so it puts council in a pretty tough spot -- we're also stewards of the town's infrastructure and so tonight, Council will be deciding whether to waive all the requirements

The CT scanner project first came about through local fundraising -- including a 1.6-million dollar contribution from Telkwa resident Fritz Pfeiffer.

The total cost of the project is nearly three million.

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