Quesnel Regional Airport serves city as well as CRD residents.                                Melanie Law photo

Quesnel Regional Airport serves city as well as CRD residents. Melanie Law photo

CRD to hold referendum on proposed Quesnel airport tax

Referendum scheduled for October to ask CRD residents to contribute to airport operating costs

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is planning a referendum for Electoral Areas A, B, C and I to begin contributions towards the operating costs of the Quesnel Regional Airport.

The referendum is planned for October 20, to coincide with local government elections.

The proposed annual contribution, called the North Cariboo Airport Service, would be based on property values and would amount to about $3.65 per $100,000 of the assessed value of land and improvements.

The agreement would last three years, with a total of $66,000 a year contributed to the airport by CRD residents.

Currently, City of Quesnel residents and businesses support the airport within their taxes, but not CRD residents.

The estimated subsidy required by the airport is $180,000 per year. Under the agreement rural residents would pay the same tax rate as City residents, with the City of Quesnel contributing $114,000 a year (including industrial and business taxes) and the CRD $66,000.

The CRD areas affected are Area A – Red Bluff/South Quesnel; Area B – Quesnel West/Bouchie Lake; – Area C, Bowron Lake/Barlow Creek/Barkerville; and Area I – Narcosli/Nazko/West Fraser.

If the referendum goes through, an airport advisory committee will be created, with members of the public and elected CRD and City representatives invited to provide input into airport operations.

Currently, Quesnel’s airport offers flight services seven days a week from Central Mountain Air. Around 18,000 passengers travel through the airport every year. Medevac flights for medical emergencies also operate from the airport, amounting to approximately 180 flights per year.

The airport also served as an air base for the B.C. Wildfire Service during last summer’s wildfires, and SkyFest is hosted at the site.

CRD vice-chair John Massier says the motion to hold an airport referendum and to begin public engagement was passed at a March 2018 North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee meeting. He says information sessions will be held near the fall elections, and a frequently-asked-questions document has been developed for circulation.

“Whether we are rural or city based taxpayers, we rely heavily on that airport, and our businesses depend on it. If we didn’t have it we might struggle to retain some of the businesses that we have in the community and it wouldn’t be as vibrant a place to live,” says Massier.

“[The proposed agreement] is an acknowledgement that there are widespread benefits to having an airport in the community, and the cost for running it haven’t been shared equally in the past.”

READ MORE: Seven candidates vie for CRD directorships near Quesnel



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There are hiking trails aplenty around Quesnel, including at the West Fraser Timber Park right inside the municipality. (Submitted Photo)
Many things to do in the Cariboo

Jim Hilton’s column from Jan. 20

(Tracey Roberts Photo)
COVID-19 rule followers are not suckers

Cassidy Dankochik’s column from the Jan. 20 paper

A dust advisory is in place for Quesnel. Residents are asked to be careful near heavy traffic areas. (File Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel under dust advisory

High levels of dust in the air can be dangerous for people with COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Most Read