Council: new community centre to be managed by users

Also: long-term plan for Vanderhoof airport, community transportation funding application, upgrades to sporting grounds

The incoming centre for community programs is slated to open in late September or early October.

The incoming centre for community programs is slated to open in late September or early October.

Long-term plan for Vanderhoof airport

The district council received a long-term plan for the Vanderhoof Municipal Airport proposed by a group of airport users and concerned citizens.

With about 40 aircraft that require fuel and servicing, as well as three businesses, stationed on-site, there are opportunities for industrial development at the local airport that was first built in 1940, said Paul Collard from the airport development group.

The proposed plan include an apron area and widened taxi-ways to support larger planes, turn-around space on the runway, hangars for housing planes over winter, and an additional building as a terminal or cadet clubhouse.

Development of Vanderhoof’s airport is on the district council’ list of projects, and staff are defining the  needs and timelines of the plan, states CAO Tom Clement.

 

Community transportation funding application

The district is applying for grant funding from the provincial government to create a public transportation system within Vanderhoof.

In June, the ministry of transportation announced a commitment of $800,000 through the Highway 16 Community Transportation funding program to help communities purchase and operate vehicles for local transit.

B.C. government will cover 70 per cent of costs over three years, while the district will be responsible for 30 per cent.

The system may involve stops at the hospital, downtown Vanderhoof, and Saik’uz First Nation, Clement said. “We recognized it as a need in the community since 2007 or before.”

The funding was announced as part of the $5-million provincially and federally support Highway 16 Transportation Action plan, which includes transit expansion between communities along the highway, First Nations driving education program, and webcam and transit shelters along the highway.

 

Managing new community centre

Renovations of the incoming centre for community programs are on schedule, with an opening date in late September or early October.

A plan for management and security concerns of the new centre will be drafted by user groups, which are confirmed to be the YMCA of Northern BC in Vanderhoof and Nechako Community Arts Council so far.

 

Upgrades to sporting grounds for more events, programs

To upgrade Vanderhoof’s current facilities to hold provincial sports events in all seasons, the Nechako Valley Sporting Association is applying for regional grant funding to construct a new technical and storage building on the sporting grounds.

A building measuring 22 feet by 12 feet, complete with heat and lighting capabilities, will replace the NVSA’s current shed as a storage and administrative space.

In the coming winter season, the NVSA will be partnering with the Nechako Lakes school district for the first time to offer cross-country skiing lessons to all Grade 7 students.

Though the long-term vision is to provide the opportunity to all students, this is a beginning step, said Paul Collard, a NVSA director.

“Something we need to expand the ski program, something the school district needs to get the kids outside,” he said.

Located 10 minutes out of Vanderhoof, the NVSA’s grounds also host jackrabbit cross-country skiing programs, biathlon and running races, as well as annual fundraisers such as Take a Shot for Cancer.

 

Getting priorities straight

With a list of 26 projects, the district staff is narrowing on five priorities to focus on in the upcoming year — dependent on pending information on staff and resource requirements for each project.

 

– with files from the District of Vanderhoof