Sea Can to aid COVID-19 acclimation for Salvation Army
By Erin Knutson
The City of Fernie has granted the Salvation Army’s request for a special permit (TUP-004) to place a shipping container (Sea Can) in the parking lot adjacent to the Salvation Army building (June 8) in a move to help the organization acclimate to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are working towards re-opening our thrift store located at 741- 2nd Avenue, Fernie. We desire to utilize an 8′ X 20′ Sea Can to hold donations before being moved into our facility,” said Major Kirk Green with the Salvation Army in a letter to staff.
By matching the exterior of the building, the Sea Can will blend in with the historic downtown location while providing a valuable service to the Salvation Army and the community.
The temporary unit offers an alternative option for donation storage before re-sale in the thrift shop – demonstrating an innovative solution to problems arising from new business practices.
A year-long request for the unit was placed by the organization to mitigate COVID-19 restrictions and requirements outlined by WorkSafe BC and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“There was not sufficient space in the building to store donations for the required time before they are processed and available for re-sale in the storefront,” said Green.
Stipulations of the permit include a minimal impact on the surrounding environment and community while maintaining compatibility with nearby land uses.
Staff supported the request, citing extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic as reasonable to accommodate a temporary use permit.
In the act of solidarity and a move to help businesses in Fernie restore functioning as COVID-19 restrictions slowly ease, council motioned ‘all in favour’ of the recommendation.
The recommendation followed reassurances to council members by the Fernie Fire Department that the Sea Can would adhere to safety rules and regulations specified in the Fire Protection and Life Safety Bylaw.
“The Salvation Army has been working around the clock since this began, and we want to recognize them. We want to thank them and all of their volunteers – what an important service this is for our community,” said Mayor Ange Qualizza.