The Regional District Kitimat-Stikine provides local government services to the Northwest area and is made up of six electoral areas. (File Photo)

Free transit during Riverboat celebrations this year

Regional District Kitimat-Stikine briefs

Free transit

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine board of directors supports the City of Terrace to offer free ridership on Skeena Regional Transit for Riverboat Days celebrations on Aug. 3 to 4. The total cost to operate buses for days is $2,760. The fares collected by the City of Terrace help offset that cost.

Green light for recycling

The board has authorized the collection of light bulbs and lamps for recycling at the Kitwanga Transfer Station. The Product Care BC LightRecycle Program asked the RDKS to include lamps from both residential and commercial users into their recycling site for safe management.

Lamp collection for recycling is to keep with the Hazelton and Highway 37 North Servicing Plan to reduce waste-to-landfill volumes and to avoid the disposal of environmentally hazardous materials, such as mercury-containing fluorescent light tubes. All required materials and transportation for proper collection and storage of lamps will be provided by LightRecycle.

LightRecycle will also offer financial compensation to the district, with a rate of $0.03 to $0.10 per lamp collected depending on size. Based on data collected in their 2017 report, it’s estimated that the RDKS can receive approximately $1,600 in compensation annually.

Fire contract extended

The regional district has extended its Fire Protection Partnering Agreement with the Kitselas First Nation until August 2022.

The contract was set to auto-renew this summer for another 15 years, but a review with both parties and Fire Chief Rick Boehm identified that many changes are to affect the current economic environment and require more time to properly assess. The decision to add three years to the current agreement was reached as beneficial for everybody with no financial implications.

Property tax exemptions

The Skeena Valley Golf & Country Club and My Mountain Co-op have been given a partial property tax exemption for the 2020 tax year. The Tax Exemption Bylaw has previously been applied to both as it is common for local governance to alleviate taxes from community groups within its boundaries, the board heard.

Skeena Valley Golf and Country Club will pay just 46 per cent of its $41,000 bill, and My Mountain Co-op will pay 60 per cent of $6,500.

Educational facility

A letter of support will be written by the RDKS board for the non-profit Kyah Wiget Education Society (KWES) pursuing two grants to help finance Phase 1 of their Adult Education Building, to be built in the community of Witset, formerly Moricetown.

The educational facility is intended to be used for cultural programs such as Witsuwit’en language training, moose hide tanning, wood carving, and traditional beading. The KWES currently delivers education programming from Kindergarten through to Grade 12, along with college-level courses.

The estimated cost to initiate the project is approximately $98,350.

Marketing the Northwest

The regional district has awarded the Northwest BC Workforce and Resident Attraction Initiative contract of $259,550 to Munro Thompson Communications Inc. They will market the region to help fill workforce gaps and retain residents to keep economic stability in communities.

The contract will support the first two years of the five-year campaign, after which a review will be conducted to assess the level of commitment and results from the marketing campaign.

No cell service

The board is requesting that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure put up signage at the Gitanyow turnoff for those travelling north, indicating that Hwy37 North does not have cellular service, with the exception of Stewart.

Posting a sign will serve as a critical advisory in case of an accident or emergency by alerting travelers to consider other communication options, such as a satellite phone.

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