IF THERE’S ever been a project that has “remain optimistic” stamped on its file folder cover, it has to be the Terrace airport lands enterprise.
Officially called the Skeena Industrial Development Park, the project is more than 10 years old and has survived a change in the mayor’s chair, numerous changes on Terrace city council and the departure of the city’s top administrator first charged with shepherding the development.
The premise is that the Crown-owned land south of the airport offers attractive, flat and serviceable acreage. The city has the option to buy land from the province but only when it sells the land to a company. It’s a clever idea given that the city has no money itself to buy the land and then sell it onward at some future date. So far the city has had no takers. A memorandum of understanding signed several years ago has expired and the city now says it has a new one with another company.
A big plus was receiving a time-limited offer of $688,000 each from the provincial and federal governments provided the city matched the amount. With time running out and faced with a “use it or lose it” scenario, the city scraped together its amount and that’s resulted in the extensive intersection work now underway on Hwy 37 south of the airport to gain access to the intended industrial park.
That expression “build it and they will come” will surely be tested here.