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

RDKS to write letter to BC Hydro after homes in Iskut left without heat during arctic freeze warning

Regional District Kitimat-Stikine briefs from January meeting

Second generator for Iskut

Director Dave Brocklebank from Electoral Area D raised a grave concern in Iskut following the recent cold snap in the region. Elders were sent to the local school and other residences to keep warm as there was not enough power in the community to heat homes at full capacity.

After removing two generators years earlier, BC Hydro has left the community with only one generator and requests residents to minimize use which can be problematic during periods of high demand as it breaks the circuit. As a result, many households were left without power and heat during this arctic freeze warning.

The directors have voted to write a letter to BC Hydro and the Northwest Transmission Line to reinstall a second generator.

Dehumidifier for Rec Centre

The board voted to consider adding a dehumidification function to the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre before operational plans for 2021 are finalized.

The rec centre was not built with dehumidification capability but in the past two years, concerns have been raised regarding wood discoloration and possible mold growth. The addition of dehumidification capacity to the building’s system would be to protect and preserve the building.

The cost to modify the current system and add the dehumidification function is $175,517.84.

At the meeting, the board also authorized for $6,000 to go towards the proposed biomass project with Gitxsan Energy Corporation, which will be reviewed independently to verify cost savings and provide advice.

Unsightly premises

The board has authorized staff to bring 2705 Clark Street into compliance with a bylaw to enforce a court consent order to have the property cleaned at the owner’s expense. The property has been deemed as an “unsightly premise”, suggesting an accumulation of waste outside of the residence that has been repeatedly flagged by neighbours.

Electric car infrastructure

Directors voted to approve another $4,000 toward the continuation of the Charge North Electrical Vehicle Network Study.

The regional district had already contributed $9,000 to initiate the Hwy 16 and 37 Charge North EV Network Study in collaboration with five other Regional Districts in January of 2018.

The study has progressed from planning to implementation and is requesting the additional $4,000 in bridge funding that includes the process of securing infrastructure capital for the 47 planned Level 2 “Stop-and-Shop” charging stations, of which 11 are within the regional district’s municipal members’ boundaries and the Nisga’a Nation.

Appointed representative

Chad Hamilton has been appointed to a two-year term as the representative for the district on the board of directors for the Kermodei Tourism Society.

Rezoning not permitted

The board voted against proceeding to a third reading for applicants Francesco and Sara Guerriero to rezone their property at 5255 Deep Creek Drive in north Terrace in order to allow for a small-scale destination resort development by prospective buyers.

All lots in the subdivision are zoned as Low Density Rural (R2) and the property currently holds a single-family residence that operates Deep Creek Lodge which is permitted under the R2 zone as it’s a home occupation.

Local guiding outfitters Nicholas Dean Outdoors is looking to purchase the property with the intent to operate a fishing lodge with up to 10 guests per week and proposing to build five, 378 sq. ft cabins for accommodation. The existing dwelling may be used as a caretaker residence.

Six verbal submissions were received from neighbouring property owners, all were opposed to the rezoning.

Transfer Station completed

The board received a report that the Stewart Landfill Closure and Transfer Station Project is now substantially complete as of Oct. 1, 2019.

The project’s initial capital cost estimate provided to the board in May 2018 was $2.55 million.

The District of Stewart was responsible to finance the closure of the landfill and the regional district was responsible to fund the transfer station. A total grant up to $1.72 million has been secured by the District of Stewart to offset the local share.

The RDKS will receive a third of the final grant claim to cover costs related to the transfer station. The current estimate is $525,310 which includes payment for project management services.

The 2019 total estimate to fully complete the project is $2.27 million.

No objections to TELUS

Regional district board members have no objections for TELUS to establish a utility power line on unsurveyed crown land located on the west side on the Skeena River, about 50 km northeast of Terrace.

The application is to construct a new utility line along the road access to provide power to the new cellular tower site.

The site is currently powered by a remote generator, whereas this new power line will connect to the existing power line on Hwy 16.

In order to have full support though, TELUS must also obtain all necessary permits from appropriate authorities and consult with First Nations.

Support to connect

Northwestel requested a letter of support for an application to the Canada Broadband Fund to build a fibre-optic network connecting Dease Lake to Watson Lake, and to bring high-speed internet to Dease Lake itself.

Directors motioned they will first consult the Tahltan First Nation to check if the infrastructure proposal is supported before writing any letters of support to avoid opposition with communities in the area.

Logging permitted

Mill & Timber Products Ltd. has been granted two-year permission to use unsurveyed crown land on the Douglas Channel, approximately 40 km southwest of Kitimat, for log handling, storage, and a camp to support their Timber Sale Licence.

The application encompasses two sites including the south side of Loretta Island and the Hugh Creek harvest area, which has been utilized in the past by the company. Their plans entail the harvest of the remaining 4,500m³ of timber during spring and summer of 2020.

The sites has been determined to contain generally low fisheries productivity, and reactivation of this site is not anticipated to result in any adverse impacts to the ecosystem. The regional has asked that environmental issues are addressed, including approval from DFO, and that appropriate First Nations are consulted before proceeding.

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