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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Charlie Lake Community Club is holding a meeting to inform the public of recent land expropriation by the Peace River Regional District.
The meeting will take place at the Charlie Lake Community Hall and is meant to inform residents of the change and situation at hand.
The land in question was owned by the Charlie Lake Community Club (CLCC) and houses the Charlie Lake sewer lift system and pumphouse which is located near the Charlie Lake Community Hall.
President of the CLCC, Mike Tompkins, said the land had belonged to the club for over 25 years. He said apart from the occasional smell, there had never been any issues.
According to Tompkins, the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) had an interest in wanting to own the land for “operations and upgrades.”
Tompkins said the PRRD didn’t like the lease terms set out by the CLCC, so they moved into attempting to purchase the land.
“It went back and forth for a long time, and then the discussion of sale came up. So they tried to do an assessment, and we kind of pulled, and we didn’t wanna sell it,” Tompkins explained.
Tompkins said they were working on the issue over the years until November 30th, 2022, when the PRRD served the CLCC an expropriation notice.
“They did it very quickly, and there was no consultation,” Tompkins said.
After the notice was given, Tompkins said the CLCC requested an inquiry but was ultimately denied. On January 13th Tompkins says they received the assessment and cheque for the land but haven’t deposited the funds.
Energeticcity.ca asked Tompkins about the price of the land, but Tompkins stated that was information he wished to save for the meeting.
In a statement given to Energeticcity.ca, the PRRD confirmed the timeline of beginning lease and sales talks with the CLCC starting in 2008 before ultimately deciding to expropriate the land in 2022.
The PRRD stated the infrastructure on this land was “a critical piece of sewer infrastructure, and legislatively, legal access must be maintained in order to provide essential services to residents.”
“The role of a regional district is to provide services to electoral area residents; the decision made by the Regional Board, after repeated attempts at alternative solutions, reflects that mandate.”
Tompkins highlighted that the club understood the importance of the infrastructure on the land and that this wasn’t about the money. He said the meeting was about making residents aware and bringing attention to the “flawed” process by which the land was gained.
The meeting will take place on January 30th at the Charlie Lake Community Hall starting at 7 p.m. All community members are invited to attend.
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