City Council will be asked to reconsider its support for the development of a $23 million transit facility at the base of Cranbrook Hill. The project itself has the support of most people, however the location of it is being stiffly opposed by local residents.
Nearly 300 people turned out for a public meeting on the project last month. The majority of those who spoke at the meeting, panned the Foothills Boulevard – 18th Avenue location.
When residents asked to see the options for alternative locations, a BC Transit official informed them that there was no ‘Plan B’.
However if Councillor Garth Frizzell gets his way, City staff will be instructed to meet with BC Transit to find a new home for the project. “We got a chance to hear back from the public with some very compelling arguments,” said Frizzell. “Those arguments, we believe, are enough to stop the process now and give our staff time to work on alternate locations.” Frizzell is joined by fellow councillors Susan Scott and Brian Skakun in calling for a halt to the project.
Time is working against the reconsideration. BC Transit says the facility must be completed by March of 2019 to qualify for funding from the Federal and Provincial governments. If the project is completed in time, the City’s contribution will be approximately $5.4 million. However if the project is not completed in time, the City will be expected to cover half of the project’s cost to the tune of $11.5 million dollars.
“I still feel very optimistic about it,” said Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall. “It’s a project that’s needed in the community so we and administration will work hard to make sure we move forward on it,” he added.
BC Transit spokesperson Jonathan Dyck says the crown corporation is aware of the report and is willing to continue working with the City, no matter what the outcome of Monday’s meeting.
The proposed facility will be the centre piece of BC Transit’s daily operations in the city. It will act as the base for fueling, maintenance, washing and storage the fleet of buses.