Fort St. James Council held a regular meeting on Oct. 14. The following are some highlights and conclusions from the evening:
Guest speaker, Graham Stanley, General Manager of Community Futures Stuart-Nechako, spoke about developing an Innovation Centre in Fort St. James.
“The mission is to promote the development of technology and innovation within our own community,” Stanley said. “We believe small communities can secure their share of the growing internet product,” he said.
The centres would provide services that would include: office rental for tech businesses, office assistance and support, a collaborative space for creative projects, meeting rooms, video production equipment audio software, community access computer workstations and support through the Innovation Central Society and Community Futures.
Mayor Rob MacDougall agreed that this was something to seriously think about. “It is the wave of the future and a great opportunity for us,” Macdougall said.
Speed limits in Sowchea were discussed. Due to the recent school closure, buses and children being bused will increase. This issue will be further investigated and area residents will be asked for their input.
A budget meeting will be set to discuss a plan for 2016.
A dump truck purchase of $257,087.04 has already been approved by Council.
The report on Joint Use and Capital Planning Agreement between the District of Fort St. James and School District 91, Nechako Lakes was discussed. The report includes details relating to facilities that can be interchangeably used by either party within the guidelines. Mayor MacDougall thinks this a good idea for liability reasons and also wants to continue an important partnership.
A development permit has changed from a 3 plex to a 5 plex by Ouellette Bros. These will be rental units located at 174 2nd Avenue West. This has been conditionally approved by Council upon receipt of new plans from the contractor showing the changes.
A Seniors Housing Program was considered. The program is still in development but the mission is to provide funding support for new seniors housing via a dollars per door approach and this would benefit the housing needs from a sustainability perspective within the entire NDIT region. This would allow seniors to age in their own communities for as long as possible. Council supports this initiative and a letter of support will be provided.
The next regular council meeting will be held on October 28.