The City of Fort St. John is sending out a request for proposals for an individual or organization to begin fundraising for the new Saa Maa Energy Centre.
The Centre is expected to cost an estimated $17.5 million with the City providing $1 million of that amount. The rest of the money will be acquired through fundraising or obtaining grants, says City Manager Dianne Hunter.
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Currently, the City has obtained $2 million in funding from the Western Economic Diversification Program Grant, however Hunter says the grant’s stipulations mean the Centre would have to be built by March 31, 2012. Since it is unlikely the Centre will be completed within the next year and unless the deadline is extended, she says the funding could be lost and the City may have to reapply for the grant.
City Council already announced last fall that it would only contribute a maximum of $1 million, whether or not the remainder of the money is raised.
The cost of the “Edge of the Sun” Energy Interpretive Centre is expected to incorporate a conference centre, an amphitheatre, child-friendly outdoor exhibits and a sustainable RV park.
Hunter says the main purpose of the Centre is to celebrate Fort St. John as the oil and gas capital of British Columbia, as well as different forms of energy and different groups’ relationships with various types of energy.