“The agreement ensures that as the region grows, and community needs increase, the Province will be there for the region to help provide the residents with the services that they deserve for many, many years to come.”
He argues that this agreement will help “rectify” the long standing problem of trying to get resource revenues back into the community.
“It’s about sharing responsibility for developing a community and regional structure to facilitate the resource development in British Columbia,” he explains. “This is precedent setting.”
Calling today “Fort Nelson’s Day”, Fort Nelson Mayor Bill Streeper says that the potential $200 million over the enxt 20 years will bring the community up to the standard it deserves, after being taken for granted.
“Resource development has funded the economy of the entire province,” he argues. “Today we have a milestone agreement that will enable us to develop a full scale, sophisticated service centre here in the Northern Rockies.”
He adds this funding will give the region the tools to begin much needed upgrades to the community, including roads, sewer, sidewalks and recreation.
The agreement is in effect today, with initial funding to begin in 2015. Streeper explains that starting next month, the community will begin to hear about potential projects, and all spending will be approved by referendum process. Municipal funds from tax revenue will be used for the first 25 per cent of approved projects, and the rest will be put forward to the province, for up to $10 million a year.