The Nechako Kitamaat Development Fund Society announced today that more than $394,000 has been awarded so far during this fiscal year. Economic development grants are approved for 9 different projects in Kitamaat Village, Burns Lake, Southside, Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof.
NKDF Society chair Paul Stewart said, "We are inspired by the focus of the proposals approved this fiscal and invite applications from qualifying parties interested in creating sustainable employment and enhancing the local economies in our investment area.”
Kitamaat Village Council will use funds to explore the feasibility of marine shipping opportunities and to consolidate Haisla archives to use as a springboard for future economic negotiations.
The District of Vanderhoof is approved for funding to build a park along Highway 16. The Village of Fraser Lake will upgrade the recreational facility to better serve local and visiting sports enthusiasts.
"The NKFD has undertaken some great work over the years and it's good to see that is continuing," said Prince George-Omineca MLA John Rustad. "I am particularly happy to see the support they are providing for projects in Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake." said Northern Caucus Chair/Prince George-Omineca MLA John Rustad.
Village of Burns Lake will improve Noarse Park and Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association will use funds to bring the trail system closer to readiness for mountain biking and other trail related events and activities.
"Noarse Park is an important part of Burns Lake and I'm confident that the work the municipality is doing there is going to make a real difference for the community," said Bulkley Valley-Stikine MLA Dennis MacKAY. “The funding to the Burns Lake Mountain Biking Assn will help complete the trail system and I encourage all mountain bikers to get out and use it once it is ready."
The Southside Economic Development Association with make improvements to the Grassy Plains hall while Cheslatta Carrier Nation will launch a wood chipper service that will employ up to 5 people from the Southside area.
The Lakes District Airport Society will open the door to economic prospects with the addition of a terminal building to the Baker Airport, while the BC Paraplegic Association and the North Central Municipal Association will measure accessibility in participating communities across the region.
Colleen Nyce, Alcan’s Manager of Corporate Affairs said “the distribution of Nechako Kitamaat Development Fund proceeds in this way is a strong testament that the original purpose and intent of the investment made by both Alcan and the BC Government in 1997 is being met. Congratulations to the community recipients and to the Society members for diligently administering the mandate. ”
The Society encourages applications from local governments and legally incorporated non-profit organizations. NKDF invests in projects that create sustainable employment, diversify the economy, and improve the basic infrastructure needed for community stability, quality of life and growth.
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the NKDF grants program. Each partner has one representative serving on the board of directors. The NKDF is part of the portfolio of the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
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