The Ymir Community Hall will receive upgrades so it can aid the public in emergencies. Photo: Columbia Basin Trust

The Ymir Community Hall will receive upgrades so it can aid the public in emergencies. Photo: Columbia Basin Trust

Emergency readiness funding announced for West Kootenay communities

Columbia Basin Trust is investing nearly $900,000 in the program

Ymir Community Hall will receive $171,500 from Columbia Basin Trust as part of a funding announcement for emergency preparation upgrades.

The hall, which was built in the 1950s, will use the money to complete upgrades to air filtration, Wi-Fi, a backup generator, lighting, kitchen ventilation and accessibility improvements to entrances, washrooms and flooring.

“With these much-needed upgrades to our community hall, we will be able to provide a safe and dependable space for the people of Ymir,” said Ymir Community Association treasurer Tamara Rushforth in a statement.

“This main building of Ymir is greatly needed for emergencies of any kind, elections and celebrations. It is very important for all the residents that they have a place to go in case of any situation.”

The hall’s upgrades were among the 10 projects to receive $899,100 in funding from the Trust, according to announcement released Nov. 30.

“Basin residents have emphasized the need for their communities to become more climate resilient,” said Will Nixon, the Trust’s senior manager, delivery of benefits. “We’re supporting these communities to be better prepared for events like wildfire or extreme weather. These projects will provide more resources so we can all face the future more confidently.”

Other projects near Nelson and Castlegar include:

• The Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Castlegar emergency reception centre will use $8,000 to improve wireless internet and phone reception in the Castlegar and District Recreation Centre.

• Genelle Community Hall will use $110,500 to complete upgrades to its air filtration, LED lighting and backup generator.

• The Trust is spending $72,000 to install nine emergency communication hubs in the Lardeau Valley, which it says will be used in the absence of cellular service during an emergency.

• Taghum Hall will spend $1,900 to purchase and install a defibrillator.

• Silverton Memorial Hall will use $164,000 to purchase and install a backup generator as well as upgrade the building’s heating and cooling systems.

• Vallican Whole Community Centre will receive $35,400 for a backup generator and emergency supplies.