2015 News in Review: July-September

The following are key developments in Terrace, B.C. that happened in the the third quarter of 2015

  • Jan. 1, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Local Search and Rescue crews train on the Skeena River this past summer

July

July city council sessions heat up with the introduction of a request by local resident Sarah Artis for a Rainbow Sidewalk that offers community support for the gay and lesbian and transgender community. Council votes unanimously to  do the sidewalk, though the installation date it pushed ahead to 2016.

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After a couple solid years running full bore, Skeena Sawmills closes down temporarily because of slow down in demand for logs in Asia, then reopens in September before slowing down again heading into the winter.

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In the span of a two days, July 8 and 9, three fires are sparked in the hot weather, and it is found that dry tree limbs falling on hydro wires were the cause.

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Tahltan Central Council President Chad Day helicopters into a copper and gold mining camp in Tahltan traditional territory 50 kilometres east of Telegraph Creek and forces the shutdown of a mining exploration camp located in a historical burial area.

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The city decides to cancel its $165,000 contract with the Terrace Econcomic Development Authority and create a new position within the city called an Economic Development Officer that will handle those tasks.

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The Provincial government announces $37 million for infrastructure in Terrace, with approximately $4.3 million of that amount going towards enhancements of the intersection on the South end of the Sande Overpass. Originally it was hoped that Terrace would receive a completely new second overpass.

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THE federal and provincial governments announce they will be contributing approximately half of the money needed by Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace for an expansion project beginning this year to improve the baggage check-in and waiting area. The governments give $4.4 million each toward the projected $16.4 million project cost.

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longtime resident and veteran volunteer Yvonne Moen is named Freeman of the City of Terrace.

August

The Kitsumkalum and Kitselas approve their agreements in principle with the federal government which makes the agreements official. Both land and money are involved in the deals, while fisheries are still to be figured out separately. The final agreements still need to be negotiated.

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Local governments from Vanderhoof to the coast meet in Terrace to advance their call for a share of provincial resource taxation benefits. It’s the first full meeting of the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance (RBA) since it expanded to include 21 municipalities and regional districts in the spring. The Resource Benefits Alliance calls for money from the province to deal with the financial impacts of the increased local government services that will be needed based on projected major industrial developments in the region.

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The city decides to lay out $40,000 for a transportation master plan which will provide a blueprint for the construction of roads and transportation networks. The study focus  includes “current capacity and traffic loading of arterial and collector roadways; recommendations or confirmation of locations for future vehicle and pedestrian grade separations for crossing the railway.” There is a traffic study for  both hills in town also in the works.

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Five Tsimshian bands, The Metlakatla, Gitxaala, Gitga’at, Kitselas and Kitsumkalum bands,  announce the formation of the Tsimshian Environmental Stewardship Authority (TESA), which is designed to provide a way for all of the nations to address common environmental stewardship issues such as project development proposals and cumulative impact considerations. Lax Kw’alaams is not part of the group.

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Aug. 16 two fires caused by arson burn down abandoned buildings, one located at 3111 Atwood, and close to the CN tracks, which used to be owned by the rail company but is now owned by the Best Western Terrace Inn. The other building  was located at 4727 Park Avenue and was used for storage by owner Lloyd Wittkowski. Both were used for shelter by the homeless.

September

local fish conservation group Gitanyow Fisheries Authority gets upset over the federal officials having opened the coastal commercial fishery for sockeye salmon, a move which it says goes against previous decisions to hold off on a late run harvest.

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The plan for the rainbow-coloured crosswalk to reflect the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) community spurs the formation of a new group because of online comments that lash out against the idea.

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The owner of Terrace Chances, Pomeroy Lodging, declares it is setting its sights on moving to a new location where it would be combined with an executive-level hotel and conference centre. But the application is not submitted before Christmas as planned.

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The city decides to form a homelessness task group after a motion to do so is made by councillor Brian Downie at council’s Sept. 14 meeting. They begin to meet to look at long term solutions to the problem.

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Rural residents outside of Terrace learn they will be on the hook for $200 a year for refuse collection which creates backlash from frustrated rural residents.

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PRETIVM Resources has announced the official start of construction of an underground gold mine near Stewart in northwestern B.C. The Sept. 15 announcement follows a deal to secure approximately 70 per cent of the (US) $747 million needed to fully construct the Brucejack mine which will begin operations in 2017 and have an operating life of nearly 18 years.

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Terrace city council votes to withhold a letter of support for pipeline developer TransCanada until after a meeting with the provincial government concerning a revenue sharing agreement with northern local governments, which is called a tactical play to impress on the government that they want to see benefits from any major industrial developments.

 

 

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