“I’m very encouraged by both the calibre of the projects, and by the positive community spirit they demonstrate,” said Dave Merz, who chairs the society. “Our entire Board looks forward to approving funding for many more economic development projects like these.”
“This is great news for the region,” said Skeena MLA Roger Harris. “Community infrastructure is the backbone of economic development. As well, the projects being funded will attract more tourists, create jobs and help small communities to become more self-sufficient.”
The Nechako-Kitamaat Development Society will fund at least $1 million of investment in community economic development projects before the end of this fiscal year, March 31, 2004. Another million in funding is proposed for the following year.
"These funds are going towards creating more employment opportunities, which is in keeping with the intent of the fund,” said Dennis MacKay, MLA for Bulkley Valley-Stikine.
"With the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society becoming more visible in the region, we hope that more communities will take advantage and bring their projects to the Society for consideration," said Richard Prokopanko, Director of Corporate Affairs, British Columbia.
The Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society is a non-profit society currently governed by seven directors and staffed by one part-time manager. The society works to promote and enhance sustainable economic development in British Columbia’s northwestern communities, particularly those affected by the Kitimat-Kemano project and the creation of the Nechako Reservoir.
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the grants program.
|Village of Fraser Lake||Public Wharf Development||$100,000|
|College of New Caledonia||Training Needs Assessment||$4,000|
|Nechako Valley Community Services||Planning for Seniors Services and Housing||$11,000|
|Nadleh Whut’en Band||Community Hall Repairs||$25,000|
|Southside Ec Dev Association||Takysie Trail and Canoe Route||$26,500|
|Lakes Outdoor Recreation Society||Campsite maintenance – one time grant||$5,000|
|Fort Fraser Chamber of Commerce||Summer Tourism Project||$10,000|
|Cheslatta Carrier Nation||Leadership Training - Phase 1||$10,000|
|North Coast Water Quality and Biotoxin Program Society (Kitamaat Village)||Shellfish Water Quality Testing||$65,000|
The Village of Fraser Lake received approval for $12,000 or 50% of the costs of hiring an engineering firm to assess the viability of restoring the former government wharf. The approval included an additional $88,000 (or 50%) towards rebuilding the wharf if the project is found to be viable. The completed wharf is expected to attract new private investment to the waterfront. The Board was impressed by the strong community support and long term planning behind this project.
In Vanderhoof, the College of New Caledonia and the Nechako Valley Community Services Societyreceived grants of $4,000 and $11,000 respectively for program planning related to education and to services and housing for seniors.
The Nadleh Whut’en Band will receive up to $25,000 towards essential repairs to the floor of their community hall. The Hall is the Band’s center of business and is in constant use for public meetings, training and fundraising events.
Three organizations received approval for projects intended to attract tourism to the area. The Lakes Outdoor Recreation Society and the Southside Economic Development Association received $5,000 and $26,500 respectively to upgrade or maintain historic trails and campsites, including a canoe route. TheFort Fraser Chamber of Commerce received $10,000 to beautify the highway corridor and provide visitor services in Fort Fraser.
The Cheslatta Carrier Nation received conditional approval of $10,000 towards the training of community leaders and managers of recently established joint-ventures in forestry.
The North Coast Water Quality and Biotoxin Program Society received conditional approval for $65,000 towards a two-year water-testing program near Kitamaat Village that could attract private investment in the shellfish aquaculture industry.
Contact: Lisa Dunn, Manager, Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the NKDF grants program. Each partner has one representative serving on the board of directors. The NKDF is part of the portfolio of the Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.
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