There is land in abundance at the Pemberton airport and aviation operators want to make use of it.
Pemberton council members have directed village staff to write a report outlining how to move ahead with airport development and what it will cost to prepare some lots for development.
Daniel Sailland, the Village of Pemberton's (VOP) chief administrative officer, informed the members of Pemberton council at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday (May 3) that there are four requests from the aviation community for hangars at the airport.
Sailland said he has been speaking with community members and people in the aviation industry about airport development and that it has been a long time since the members of council were consulted on airport development so he presented a plan showing how new hangars can be created in an area off the east taxiway.
The plan involves three large plots of land that Sailland said need to be subdivided into smaller plots to pave the way for development.
"The end game is to encourage investment," said Sailland.
According to Sailland, water and sewer services are a challenge as is the delivery of fill required before any building can take place.
Sailland reported that sand from the Lillooet River is available to the community. If the VOP pays the cost of moving the sand then it can use it as fill for airport development. He said this is significant because if someone wanted to put up a $50,000 hangar now it would require up to $250,000 worth of fill, making projects economically impossible.
Staff is also proposing the creation of an information package for prospective land users at the airport so village staff isn't spending significant amounts of time explaining the process for getting land at the airport. Sailland said staff members are currently spending too much time dealing with airport issues so the creation of an information package will help reduce the amount of staff time spent speaking with people looking for information regarding land use at the airport.
"I think what you are doing here is good," said meeting attendee Greg Sorenson in response to a call for feedback from Mayor Jordan Study.
"I think you're making great progress."
Sorenson said he wants to build a wooden hangar because he was told most hangar designs using other materials wouldn't handle the snow load at the airport. He plans to rent a portion of his hangar to another aircraft owner.
Councillor Susie Gimse also praised the plans presented by the village staff.
"I think the concept plan looks great," she said.
Councillor Ted Craddock had one main concern.
"Is it going to be affordable for people to use," he asked. "Have you looked at that?"
Said Sailland: "It is in line with what people are looking for.
"The killer here is the upfront cost of fill."
According to Sailland, getting sand from the river to be used as fill will help make the development plan affordable.
Proposed private school top village priority
A report prepared for the Village of Pemberton (VOP) and the Lil'wat Nation following an economic development-brainstorming workshop has identified the Spud Valley's top priorities.
From the session the top three priorities were identified for each council and a list of three joint initiatives was created.
Sailland, VOP's chief administrative officer said the creation of a framework for how to move forward is already underway with a community power project as the top joint initiative.
Sailland said meetings have taken place already with P3 Canada to discuss the power project initiative.
"They seem to feel that for our community power project that we have an awful lot of work done and think that we may qualify for grant funding to carry forward even further," said Sailland.
The creation of a private school in Pemberton was identified as the number one village priority.
The creation of an istken, or traditional winter home, and an RV Park was identified as the top Lil'wat priority. Other top Lil'wat priorities identified were tourism development and bringing back the Mount Currie Rodeo and Pow Wow events.
Village leaders also identified tourism development as a priority along with bringing back the Pemberton Festival.
Another joint initiative identified was agricultural initiatives including the marketing of the 100-mile diet to local residents. The Lil'wat and village representatives agreed on the pursuit of a call centre as the third priority for the region.
A joint meeting of the councils is scheduled to further discuss the priorities.