Mike Slaco, owner of Electron Metalworks, works on a large-scale piece of Tseshaht First Nation-designed artwork that will be incorporated into the side of the Harbour Quay Clocktower once it is refurbished. Slaco is working with the City of Port Alberni on the project. (RACHEL THEUS PHOTO)

Mike Slaco, owner of Electron Metalworks, works on a large-scale piece of Tseshaht First Nation-designed artwork that will be incorporated into the side of the Harbour Quay Clocktower once it is refurbished. Slaco is working with the City of Port Alberni on the project. (RACHEL THEUS PHOTO)

Port Alberni’s waterfront clock tower will get a facelift in 2021

Aging Harbour Quay clock tower needs to be refurbished

The city will be moving forward with refurbishment of the Harbour Quay clock tower in early 2021.

The aging clock tower has been a topic of discussion for a few years now. Back in 2018, the city entered into a partnership with Tseshaht First Nation to create an art piece that will be installed on the top of the clock tower.

READ MORE: Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay clock tower poised to get a facelift

However, the overall cost escalated when the city discovered that the clock tower is covered with lead-based paint that needs to be safely removed. The anticipated total cost for the project is around $453,750.

READ MORE: Cost to replace Port Alberni’s waterfront clock tower escalate

“The issue isn’t so much the paint as it is introducing the dust from the paint into the environment,” explained City CAO Tim Pley during a virtual meeting of council on Monday, Oct. 26. “If we are going to grind and cut on that structure, we’re told that in order to be within regulation, the entire structure needs to be shrouded and all that dust captured and collected.”

Earlier this year, the city received $76,818 in grant funding for the clock tower project. City council agreed on Monday to put an additional $101,932 into the budget from two different reserve funds. This is in addition to the $351,818 already set aside for the project in past budget discussions.

The clocks on the tower will be replaced with artwork designed by Willard Gallic Jr., a Tseshaht artist, and manufactured by Electron Metalworks. The artwork recognizes the history behind Harbour Quay, which was historically Tseshaht First Nation’s winter village where they celebrated their yearly harvest with a “wolf ritual.” The city is now referring to the structure as a “Story Tower” instead of a clock tower.

All city councillors expressed support for the project.

“I think it’s going to be a huge asset to the Harbour Quay area, and I think it’s going to be a huge step in reconciliation as well,” said Councillor Debbie Haggard.

“[The clock tower] is a structure that’s an icon for our city and I think it really warrants us paying attention to it,” added Councillor Ron Paulson.

Councillors acknowledged that the price is steep, but necessary for the work that needs to be done.

“The longer we drag our heels on this project, the more money it’s going to cost us,” pointed out Councillor Dan Washington.

The installation and refurbishment work will be completed by local contractor Bowerman Excavating.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Ultra runner Jerry Hughes circles the track at the Cowichan Sportsplex as he nears the end of his six-day Canadian record attempt and fundraiser in November. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ultramarathon a few miles short, but many dollars beyond its goal

Six-day run misses record bid, but Help Fill A Dream fundraiser a big success

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. Dr. Henry frequently reminds people that there are those people who cannot wear a mask for legitimate reasons and they don’t have to. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island woman reminds community that not everyone can wear a mask

People enforcing mask rules frequently ignore that possibility

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire

Fire broke out at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers heading towards Sutton Pass that closure windows are in effect Thursday morning. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

“The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Project closure times remain the same for now,” ministry says

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

The notice at Port Hardy Secondary School’s athletic track. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
North Island school tracks closed to the public during school hours

To keep P.E. classes safe, the restriction went into effect Nov. 30

Some older Canadian currency will have its legal status removed at the start of the new year. (Pixabay.com)
Bank of Canada puts the boots to old bills

$1 and $2, $25 to $500 and $1,000 lose cash value Jan. 1, 2021

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Most Read