A lease at city hall (Cariboo North MLA) was discussed inside city hall during a Quesnel council meeting. (File Photo)

A lease at city hall (Cariboo North MLA) was discussed inside city hall during a Quesnel council meeting. (File Photo)

COUNCIL BRIEFS: Strategy takes centre stage at Jan. 26 meeting

Other issues including leases and the South Quesnel Business Association’s plans were discussed

The Tuesday, Jan. 26 Quesnel city council meeting was heavy on city strategy, but also included other issues.

Cariboo Regional District (CRD) members called into the meeting to listen to conversations about the future of Quesnel’s airport and dump.

Quesnel Airport:

Council approved a future strategy for the airport, focused on attracting new businesses and potentially investing in a hangar the city would lease out.

READ MORE: Council trying to attract airlines back to Quesnel

The city also approved leasing a hangar to Jerry and Barbara van Halderen. The hangar was used by C & C Wood Products. When the company went bust, it was transferred to the Quesnel Investment Corporation along with the rest of their assets. The city has to give consent to any deal made on the land.

The hangar was approved for transfer to Kismet Management in November of 2020, but the deal fell through.

“[The Halderen’s] have indicated that they plan to use the hangar to store aircraft with the goal of establishing an air cargo operation in the future,” a report to city council reads.

Cariboo North MLA Office

The hangar lease wasn’t the only one renewed, as the city also agreed to extend the lease inside city hall to Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. A five-year lease expired at the end of 2020, with the office on a month-to-month basis in January. The new agreement is set to run for three years.

Quesnel Landfill

The city’s new landfill manager, Ted Olfert, also made an extensive report to council, outlining what programs and equipment are in use.

He said COVID-19 hasn’t changed much at the landfill, with the city processing around the same amount of waste as in normal years.

The city is planning on investing $1.2 million into a new berm at the landfill in 2022.

Feasibility Investment:

Council agreed to apply for a grant which will cover 50 per cent of the funding into a study on a district energy system for the city. District energy, using waste heat to keep city buildings warm, is expected to improve emissions in Quesnel. A fifth of all city emissions is related to building heating.

“DES have lower overall operating and maintenance costs compared with in-building heating systems and the centralized production of thermal energy enables highly efficient delivery of heating,” a report written by Quesnel carbon review coordinator Kyle Aben reads. “The system proposed will use waste heat and clean B.C. electricity to create a near carbon-neutral heat energy supply.”

Half of the $175,000 in costs related to the study would be covered from the grant, with 40 per cent by West Fraser and the remaining 10 per cent ($40,000), covered by the city.

South Quesnel Business Association:

The South Quesnel Business Association (SQBA) returned to council with an updated strategic plan after its first one was shot down. Their new plan does not include a $1,000 scholarship and sponsorship of the Quesnel Rodeo.

“Although the SQBA strongly disagrees that the rodeo ‘does not directly support South Quesnel businesses,’ we have removed it from our budget for the next two years,” SQBA chair Janelle Antonick said in a letter to council. “We plan to revisit this in the future as we appreciate how important the rodeo is to all Quesnel businesses and we look forward to participating in an event that brings not only tourist dollars, but local dollars as well.”

The plan was also reduced from seven years to two due to COVID-19 uncertainty. According to the letter, city staff met with the SQBA on Wednesday, Jan. 6 to ask for a more detailed plan.

The next city council meeting will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

READ MORE: Quesnel Downtown Association requests two-year bylaw renewal

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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