“The District of Chetwynd has been working to ensure equal access to jobs and contracting opportunities for the people of Chetwynd in the event that the proposed Site C project receives approval,” says Mayor Merlin Nichols. “We have also made our position clear on the use of the various public roads passing through town and leading to the site of the proposed dam. We appreciate that our concerns have been heard on several occasions and that the agreement generally reflects these concerns.”
To start, Hydro would work to ensure apprenticeship opportunities for locals, and take part in regional workforce training initiatives.
$50,000 would be made available to community groups to develop recreation sites between Chetwynd and Site C’s reservoir, and Hydro will build a viewpoint on the south bank that will be open to the public during and after construction.
The District would receive a one-time $20,000 donation to emergency rescue services during construction, as well as $37,500 for Chetwynd to participate in a community liaison committee during that time. $100,000 would also be put aside for non-profit organizations in the North and South Peace Regions each year during construction.
Both Fort St. John and the Peace River Regional District have already signed Legacy Benefits Agreements with B.C. Hydro. The PRRD will receive $2.4 million a year, and its member communities will receive a part of that based on a formula that takes into account population and relative impacts from the project.