Alice Maitland

VOH council holds support for GDC

At its Dec. 4 meeting, the Village of Hazelton Council had several important decisions on the agenda.

At its Dec. 4 meeting, the Village of Hazelton Council had several important decisions on the agenda.

At the top of the agenda was resolution 6-2, concerning a request for funding from the Gitxsan Development Corporation (GDC).

Rick Connors, CEO of GDC, requested $20,000 from funds the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDI) has, allocated for Hazelton.

The money would be used by the GDC to complete a feasibility study of a proposed biomass energy system, which is a large incinerator that produces electricity from rising steam and heat.

The request wasn’t received well.

“[The GDC] is looking at an initial investment of $2.5 million and only showing revenues of $200,000” Councillor Bud Smith said.

“With five employees, that’s a pretty fine margin.”

Councillor, Nick Marshall, recalled a previous encounter with Connors at a Skeena Ice Arena Association meeting.

“He came when we were talking about the arena at the high school and he had a lot of good ideas,” Marshall said.

“But he wasn’t aware of the area’s available wood waste.

“We haven’t had wood waste around here for 10 years.”

Council agreed a study would be worthwhile, but opted to withhold its NDI allocation funding for the time being.

Council also heard Bruce and Rene Chandler request to move the Riverboat building lease from the Misty River Art gallery to their business Boat’s Soup and Juice Bar.

The switch would enable the Chandlers to obtain a food-primary liquor license.

“We’re want to offer more evening dining,” Bruce said.

The lease is a necessity, Rene said.

“They won’t even let us apply without the lease in our name,” she said.

A potential bring-your-own alcohol option would allow patrons to bring unopened bottles of wine that to be opened at the gallery, allowing minimal storage of liquor on premises.

Council decided to research options on lease exchange.

The current Riverboat lease agreement expires in June 2013.

Council did approve combining their NDI regional development account in principle with other northern municipalities providing such an account is created.

The decision allows NDI to potentially obtain maximum funding from the B.C. government for all municipalities in the coming years which allows all towns involved to draw from total accumulated interest providing positive capital remains in the joint account.

Northern municipalities are nearing a decision to start a joint account.

The Hazelton Minor Hockey Association requested a donation to assist with a Novice division tournament.

“I don’t know if we’ve given donations to them in the past,” Mayor Alice Maitland said.

“Anytime we’ve given money to groups like this we would require a report about how the money was used.”

Given the tournament was held the weekend before council met, council could take no action.

Interim Administrator, Tanalee Hesse, suggested the board establish a deadline for grant-in-aid applications from the community to keep track of available funding more efficiently.

Council passed a motion to create a deadline with a total amount for annual grant-in-aid funds available through the VOH office.

Council decided to provide $100 towards a bracelet program at the high school to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving.

The Village of Hazelton office will be closed from Dec. 24 until Jan. 2, 2013.

Next council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2013.

For more information call the VOH office 250-842-5991.


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