Northern Development approves funding for major projects in Port Clements, Fort St. John and Chetwynd

July 29, 2014

Port Clements – Northern Development Initiative Trust’s board of directors has approved a $98,623 grant to help the Village of Port Clements build a biomass district heating system.

The system, which would be fueled by a 100-kilowatt biomass boiler system, will heat the Port Clements multiplex building, fire department and school gymnasium. The biomass system will reduce demand for diesel and propane fuels, as well as help the community become more environmentally sustainable. The Village, which is home to approximately 400 people, has previously relied on costly diesel-generated electricity and propane to heat most of its buildings. The biomass district heating system, however, will help the Village reduce its emissions, exceed its carbon reduction targets and support healthier, cleaner air in the community.

The district heating system will be powered with biomass briquettes produced at a locally owned mill on Haida Gwaii, generating new value for previously underutilized wood waste.

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Fort St. John – Northern Development also announced today that its board of directors in July approved a $68,545 grant to fund upgrades at the North Peace Museum that include a wheelchair friendly entrance with automatic doors, new washrooms and carpeting throughout the interior of the museum.

The museum, located in the heart of Fort St. John, tells the story of the multiple centuries of history in the area from First Nations settlements to the oil and gas industries of today. The museum is home to more than 6,000 artifacts as well as archival documents and photographers, and features a teepee, trapper’s cabin, blacksmith shop, 1920s era school room, 1930s dentist office, missionary chapel, general store and B.C. Police Barracks, among many other attractions. The upgrades will modernize the museum, making it more attractive to visitors who live in the region and travel along the world famous Alaska Highway. The total project budget is $116,052.

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Chetwynd – As well, the Trust’s board of directors in July approved a $250,000 grant for a new Medical Health Clinic and Community Wellness Centre in the District of Chetwynd.

The decision allows the District, which will own the clinic, to move forward to secure additional funding to improve healthcare services for Chetwynd residents. The project will also help attract new physicians to the community, which will incent further investment in Chetwynd that supports local economic development and job creation. The proposed facility, a $1.4 million project that, if built, would be the only clinic of its kind in Chetwynd, would help the community attract and retain doctors, improving access to medical services for residents and decreasing patient wait times.

The clinic would be located on District-owned lands and house medical offices, exam rooms and a waiting and reception area. A community wellness centre would be co-located in a general space at the clinic, where health education, group learning and outpatient services could also be conducted. Some mental health services and public health services would also be relocated to the new clinic from their current locations at the Chetwynd Hospital.

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