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No Site C agreement yet for Hudson's Hope

As the City of Fort St. John prepares to unveil details of its long-awaited agreement with BC Hydro over the Site C dam, the District of Hudson's Hope is still working toward an agreement of its own with the utility.
mayor
Hudson's Hope Mayor Gwen Johansson.

As the City of Fort St. John prepares to unveil details of its long-awaited agreement with BC Hydro over the Site C dam, the District of Hudson's Hope is still working toward an agreement of its own with the utility.

As dam construction pushes into its sixth month, Hudson's Hope Mayor Gwen Johansson says the district continues to meet with BC Hydro officials.

"We're still struggling to try to get (an agreement)," she said last week.

Despite being upstream from the dam, Johansson says roughly 20 per cent of the reservoir will fall within the district.

Johansson has been vocal about the impact the W.A.C Bennett and Peace Canyon dams have had on the district.

In 2013, she told the Site C joint review panel that BC Hydro is the largest landowner in the district, holding mostly desirable, waterfront property and reducing the value of high-demand rural residential parcels. She said this has impeded growth and development in the district, and limited its tax base.

Johansson added that the district is looking at roughly another 1,700 hectares of land loss to flooding, highway realignments, and Hydro right-of-ways for transmission lines due to Site C.

"What we have lost in the past too is extremely important. We haven't been able to come to any sort of negotiated agreement as to what can make up for that," Johansson said.

BC Hydro has said it will improve roads in the district, spend $150,000 to upgrade Alwin Holland Memorial Park, add new recreation sites, build a shoreline berm to protect downtown properties from erosion and sloughing from the reservoir, and help relocate and rebuild the district’s water intake station, which will be flooded.

At a Peace River Regional District meeting Thursday, former Area C Director and Site C critic Arthur Hadland said he believed the region should get at least $400-million in compensation.

 

FORT ST. JOHN DEAL

Fort St. John will announce the details of its own proposed deal with BC Hydro Wednesday.

The announcement will be made at the Kids Arena Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. The public is invited.

Additional information sessions will be held on Feb. 4 at noon and 6:30 p.m. in council chambers.

Mayor Lori Ackerman will also be presenting details of the agreement to a Chamber luncheon on Feb. 16.

editor@ahnfsj.ca