Energy & Power
BC Hydro and Fort St. John shake hands on Site C promises
By Renée Francoeur
February 5, 2016 – BC Hydro and the city of Fort St. John announced they have recently reached an agreement-in-principle on a Community Measures Agreement related to the construction of the Site C project. Negotiations between the City and BC Hydro have been ongoing for several years.
Under the terms of the legally binding agreement, BC Hydro states it commits to specific mitigation measures such as:
• $1 million per year to the city during construction, increased by 3.5% each year.
• $100,000 per year for eight years to a community fund to assist non-profit agencies in the Peace Region.
• $250,000 to local non-profits that provide emergency and transitional housing services, including the recent $200,000 donation to the Salvation Army’s Northern Centre of Hope.
• A $75,000 contribution this year to support local charities identified by the city.
• Fund one additional police officer to be based out of the Fort St. John RCMP detachment, and will also conduct regular traffic monitoring on local roads near the project.
• BC Hydro and the city will work together through a Site C Community Agreement Monitoring Committee, consisting of senior representatives from both BC Hydro and the city. The committee will track implementation of the agreement, and provide a forum to identify and resolve issues arising during project construction. BC Hydro and the city have also agreed to a dispute resolution process to support resolution of issues, if required, and BC Hydro will provide administrative support for the committee.
• BC Hydro and Fort St. John will support the health and wellness of the project workforce, through BC Hydro’s annual pre-purchase of tickets for the use of Fort St. John recreation facilities totalling approximately $423,000 over the construction period.
• Should Fort St. John decide to expand its boundaries, BC Hydro will support the application to include the 96 hectares of land at 85th Ave.
• BC Hydro will maintain a Community Consultation Office as a means of providing information to the public and stakeholders regarding procurement, employment and construction activities.
• BC Hydro and the city will co-ordinate regular monitoring of the drinking water source quality and quantity at BC Hydro’s expense.
• Fort St. John has confirmed its ability to access its rights to water from the reservoir as a potential future source of domestic water, if needed, and at no charge from BC Hydro.
Fort St. John also notes that it has begun discussions with citizens to inform them about this agreement-in-principle prior to signing on their behalf.