The City is giving $50,000 to the Northern Environmental Action Team. NEAT recently requested that the City reimburse the organization for the just over $76,000 it had spent planning its aborted Environmental Education Centre.

Since 2002, NEAT has been working with the City towards the building of the centre. Several different sites were considered, including the land immediately north of the Fort St. John RCMP detachment.

In that case, the City had offered to donate this land to NEAT, but later rescinded that offer based on the expected need to expand the RCMP site.

After several years of delays, uncertainty, and changes, NEAT has decided not to proceed with the centre. However, it reports having spent more than $76,000 of its savings planning the facility, so was looking to the City for compensation.

Last night, Council decided not to reimburse these costs. Instead, the City will make a $50,000 grant to NEAT, to spend on environmental education outreach programs, which would usually paid for with NEAT savings.

Councillor Lori Ackerman on why the land north of the RCMP wouldn’t work for the centre, and where the partnership has gone since.
The $50,000 grant will come from the 2009 budget.