Terrace city council, Kitselas First Nation reps head to China

The plan is to find customers for the Skeena Industrial Development Park lands

A DELEGATION of Terrace city council members and the Kitselas First Nation is heading to China in hopes of selling portions of the Skeena Industrial Development Park located just south of the Northwest Regional Airport.

The industrial lands take up approximately 2,400 acres and the two local governments have already have a joint agreement designed for mutual benefit.

A small portion of the park is already in city hands and it has an agreement with the province to buy more when needed. The park sits on Kitselas traditional territory.

Terrace mayor Dave Pernarowski said the trip is to a port city called Qinhuangdao on the north coast of China where the delegation will meet with potential investors.

“China is probably the best market that we’ve got to invest in right now and I think one of the things I’ve learned going to China is they love to do business face to face,” said Pernarowski who has made several business trips to China already.

“The city is well aware that Terrace is very well-positioned for investment in the industrial park because of our proximity to Asian-Pacific markets,” Pernarowski added.

The mayor did not disclose what business groups the delegation is meeting with or exactly how much the trip is going to cost the city, though he did say the “cost [is] taken from the city’s annual efforts to promote investments in our community.”

He said that upon its return, the delegation will report to council on whether or not it was successful in negotiating the purchase or lease of the city lands.

The delegation will include, Pernarowski, city councillor Lynne Christiansen, city councillor James Cordeiro and city corporate lands manager Herb Dusdal.

Kitselas First Nation is making its own travel arrangements, and its delegation will include Chief Joe Bevan, councillor Wilfred Bennett Jr., councillor Judy Gerow, and chief executive officer Therese Hagen.

The delegation leaves Nov.16, and will be gone for a week.

Among other announcements of note from last night’s regular council meeting was a presentation by the president of the Terrace Economic Authority (TEDA) Rob Dykman.

Dykman was there to talk about TEDA’s request for $165,000 from the city’s 2014 budget for its operations.

He stated the goals of the association are to develop a program to attract and promote business in Terrace including regional planning, visibility and awareness and labour issues.

He also had to answer questions that came up in last week’s committee of the whole meeting about why profits from the 2013 Minerals North conference weren’t included in the TEDA budget request which outlined costs from the previous year.

Dykman explained this to council, saying that “Minerals North was a separate event from TEDA and we wanted to treat it that way.”

Councillor Marylin Davies asked if TEDA benefitted financially from the event, and Dykman responded that Minerals North paid $25,000 to TEDA based on the hours spent organizing the conference on behalf of the city.

He said it was recorded under “miscellaneous revenue” in the 2013 budget.

Sustainability coordinator Tara Irwin was also present at council and she presented her recommendation that the Terrace landfill begin charging tipping fees of $12.50 plus taxes per load for “residential construction and demolition waste, as well as land clearing waste.”

This inclusion of a fee at the current Terrace landfill, which was voted through first, second and third reading by council last night, is part of a process where Terrace will continue to align its solid waste programs with Thornhill working toward the eventual establishment of the new Forceman Ridge landfill south of Lakelse Lake.

“There will continue to be no tipping fee for regular refuse originating from residential properties and the tipping fees for commercial clients remain unchanged,” reads the recommendation.

Irwin said that normal yard waste would still be accepted without a fee, but larger items like big pieces of wood would trigger the new tipping fee based on volume.