Fort St. James Council decides against supporting SD 91 loan

At the July 13 council meeting, the Fort St. James District Council voted against support for a $300,000 loan for the School District 91 Business Company.

The request was made at previous councils for their support of the School District 91 Business Company request for a loan using funds from the Northern Development Initiative Trust to start their proposed international school program in China.

At the July 13 council meeting, the Fort St. James District Council voted against support for a $300,000 loan for the School District 91 Business Company.

The request was made at previous councils for their support of the School District 91 Business Company request for a loan using funds from the Northern Development Initiative Trust to start their proposed international school program in China.

They would need the support of the mayors and councils of the SD 91 area to allow them to borrow the funds from the amount allocated towards each community from the Trust.

This would mean the communities would not have access to those funds until they are repaid by the SD 91 Business Company, which they expect would take five years.

The council had discussed the request at a number of council meetings and drew on information in a report researched by Councillor Brenda Gouglas.

Gouglas studied a number of business companies started by other B.C. school districts showing a much lower rate of success than council would be comfortable with. Out of 12 other school districts which started business companies, eight of those companies were now inactive.

One of the few still active companies owes their school district almost $1 million and another was dissolved in 2009 with over $66,000 owing to the school district.

 

“While we applaud the effort, we are not prepared to risk that kind of borrowing power for the community,” said Mayor Sandra Harwood.