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District of Taylor signs deal with BC Hydro

The District of Taylor has inked a deal with BC Hydro over the Site C dam. In its January newsletter, the district announced it finalized a community agreement with the Crown utility should the project receive its environmental certification.


The District of Taylor has inked a deal with BC Hydro over the Site C dam.

In its January newsletter, the district announced it finalized a community agreement with the Crown utility should the project receive its environmental certification.

"For us, particularly, there are some road issues, and traffic, fog and maybe some recreational use (issues) in the area," said Charlette McLeod, the district's chief administrative officer. "It's an agreement for Taylor's interests that we mitigate any impacts to the best of our abilities, should the project go ahead."

Full details of the agreement will be released at a public meeting this Tuesday, Jan. 7 at the Municipal Hall, McLeod said. The meeting begins at 5 p.m.

While Taylor will be located downstream from the dam's location, about seven kilometres southwest from downtown Fort St. John, McLeod hinted the agreement will touch on road issues that need to be addressed for emergency services in the region, and compensation for the dam's effect on the district's water supply.

Taylor is not in the same position as Hudson's Hope, which will need to have its water intake station relocated and rebuilt.

"Our water system will stay in place, but we don't know how the water level will fluctuate necessarily or reroute the water pattern. There's less water coming downstream," said McLeod.

"There are a few things like that that's have always been a concern for us."

The district has also raised safety concerns over the increase in fog, particularly around the Taylor Bridge, as the dam's reservoir is expected to increase temperatures in the valley.

It has also asked for improvements to Peace Island Park, as the district expects the popular camping spot to see an increase in use as the population in the region balloons during construction of the dam.

If Site C is approved, Hydro has previously said it will build a number of boat launches and recreation sites along the new reservoir, including a number of new RV campsites at Peace Island Park.

The agreement with Hydro follows on the heels of an agreement the District of Chetwynd recently signed with the Crown utility.

In it, Hydro has agreed to spend $50,000 to develop recreation sites on the south bank of the Peace River between Chetwynd and the dam's reservoirs, including a plan to build a public viewpoint at the south bank of the river that the public can access during and after construction.

Chetwynd would also receive a one-time $20,000 lump sum payment to support emergency rescue services, and Hydro has agreed to form a community liaison committee with the district during the dam's construction, earmarking $37,500 in annual funding for its operations.

Both Chetwynd and Taylor also stand to receive a slice of the legacy benefits Hydro will hand over to the Peace River Regional District. If Site C is approved, Hydro has committed to pay the PRRD $2.4 million annually, indexed to inflation, for 70 years if and when the dam becomes operational.