Council notes: school property will not be used for skateboard park

Updates on Bednesti cabin relocation, pool design, Riverside Park bank stabilization, Markay Drive property, old Chamber building, and more.

A location by the tennis courts on Stewart Avenue

A location by the tennis courts on Stewart Avenue

Skateboard park not to be on SD No.91 property: board

The board of Nechako Lakes school district decided not to include school district property as potential sites for a community skateboard park.

On June 20, the skateboard park committee presented to the school board on having school district property as potential skatepark sites.

A location by the tennis courts on Stewart Avenue, owned by the school district, was one of the seven potential sites reviewed by skatepark builder Spectrum Skateparks Inc. last fall.


Bednesti cabin relocation update

The costs of moving the Saik’uz-owned historic cabin from Bednesti to the Vanderhoof museum grounds are found to be over $200,000 more than constructing a new building.

The lowest cost quoted for moving is $148,500, while the cost to build a new log structure is $375,000. Both options would require additional finishing construction costs.

Current grant funding options are for existing building changes, rather than new structures.

District staff is applying for funding from the Northern Development Trust for the move.


Pool update

Costs of a second floor versus only the provisions for a future second floor are requested and compared by the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre Design Committee.


Two services, one building

On their request to lease the former building of Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce on Burrard Avenue for its new home, Bulkley Valley Child Development Centre’s Regina Tworow and Sherry Fantillo answered questions from council on their exact needs for a space and provided letters of support from local service groups.

The regional non-profit child therapy service provider is currently housed in Carrier Sekani Family Services’ location on Stewart Street, and is contracted by the provincial government since February to deliver early intervention and school age therapy for Nechako Lakes communities.

Vanderhoof’s mayor and council expressed concerns on whether the service is working with the community for the long-term and attempting to recruit local staff.

In June, the district-owned former Chamber building was proposed as a potential new home for the youth centre, which opened for the last day on June 30 as the College of New Caledonia withdraws its support of family services in the region as part of its restructuring process this year.

To continue the centre’s programs potentially by September, the District of Vanderhoof is looking into partnerships with other organizations and budget concerns.


Housing concerns for singles

A teacher with the Nechako Lakes school district for 16 years is raising concerns on housing availability for singles in Vanderhoof.

Working with several lists of housing listings, Raven Harline said her efforts in the search for housing in town has been futile, leading to her homelessness for the last four years.

She finds that options exist for those who are eligible to seek support from social services, or are able to purchase a house, but not for an individual looking to rent.


Riverside Park bank stabilization update

More information on the bank stabilization project’s impact on sturgeon habitat is required, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

With how sturgeon habitat is defined by the annual high water level, the current bank armouring design needs to be revised, as it is too close to the annual high water level, the department states.

The erosion of Nechako river banks will also be mapped by UNBC students over a 20-week period — a project that will be joint-funded by the district and potentially the Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund.


Markay Drive property update

In order for the district to acquire the crown-owned quarter section at the end of Markay drive, the amount of timber will be estimated by local firm Forest Floor Contracting. The government will then determine a market price for the available timber.


BC Livestock building upgrades

Munro Muir, a Vanderhoof director of the BC Livestock Producers Co-operative Association,

got a confirmation of long-term support from the district council in continuing its operations at the current location on Highway 16 east of town.

The association is looking to modernize and upgrade its facilities, which are one of four locations for livestock auctions in B.C.


B.C. government response on Kluskus connector

A proposed connection from Quesnel to Kluskus Forest Service Road is considered by the province as part of exploring economic development opportunities for B.C., as well as an alternative for those in the area to access the Blackwater Mine Project, stated Steve Thomson, minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

“The province will continue to engage with all parties to encourage a collaborative approach and ensure that all concerns are considered,” states Thomson in his response.

In June, Vanderhoof’s mayor Gerry Thiessen wrote to the B.C. government that the district

“[believes] there would be significant negative implications in regard to resource development and forestry within the Vanderhoof Forest District as well as potential economic and social impacts should the connector road be built.”

The connector was proposed by the City of Quesnel in January to the region’s MLA. A study, prepared last fall for Quesnel’s Community and Economic Development Corporation, indicates that improved access to the Lower Nechako Basin and area, including Blackwater, would increase jobs and income of local and future Quesnel residents and nearby First Nation communities.


– with files from the District of Vanderhoof