FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Council will make a decision next week on investing $3 million to start up the North Peace Community Foundation.

The Foundation will invest and dole out proceeds from agreements with BC Hydro in support of Site C. The Community Measures Agreement and the Regional Legacy Benefits Agreement are expected to provide approximately $58 million to the municipality over the next 70 years.

The Foundation will take over supporting local charities, providing grant-in-aid and tax exemptions, which the city accounts for in its operating budget.

In a May 25th council report, CAO Milo MacDonald says the start up funds is one of many steps to make the foundation self-sufficient.

With the start up investment, the city will be designated as the principal partner of the Foundation. Grants-in-aid will be provided until the Foundation can distribute grants to local non-profits.

Originally, the city was to provide the organization with an interest-free loan to create an endowment fund to offset operating costs. However, the decision was turned down during the inaugural board meeting.

“It was determined that it is not feasible to lend money to the Foundation and then to expect it back from the donations solicited from external parties,” says CFO David Joy in the report.

Once the Foundation becomes a registered charity, the grant will be distributed to the Foundation, Joy writes. Operating costs have been budgeted for by the city with $240,000 in 2021 and $130,000 for 2022 and 2023.