On November 15, 2012 Nuxalk Chief and Council received unanimous approval from Central Coast Regional District to rehabilitate the Nuxalk Hall with funds from Community Works.
The Community Works Fund is federal money administered by the Union of BC Municipalities and is intended to support projects that meet specific criteria. These are mainly capital or planning projects, and must fall into one of the following five categories to be considered eligible: Public Transit, Community Energy, Solid Waste, Waste and Wastewater, and Capacity Building/Integrated Community Sustainability Planning.
In smaller regions where the local government does not own a lot of infrastructure, other organizations can be considered eligible recipients for the Community Works Fund, such as non-profits. The intention is to support other projects that provide a public service to the community.
The UBCM has declared the Nuxalk Nation an eligible recipient for the funds, and the project at Nuxalk Hall is considered a ‘retrofit to existing local government buildings and infrastructure to improve energy efficiency.’
“The purpose of the Community Works Fund is to provide federal funding for local government infrastructure,” explained Paul Taylor, Relationships and Communications Advisor at UBCM. “The decision on how the money is spent is up to the local government.”
The hall was originally opened in 1985 and has been used extensively by people in the Bella Coola Valley for recreation and community activities such as basketball, volleyball, potlatches, weddings, and public meetings.
Community Works funding has been used for various projects throughout the Valley such as renovations to Lobelco Hall and the CCRD building, and improvements to the Thorsen Creek Waste and Recycling Centre and the rodeo grounds.
The Nuxalk Nation is pleased about the employment opportunities the project will create for local electrical and mechanical contractors, and carpentry workers.
Nuxalk Chief Councilor Andrew Andy and CCRD Chair Brian Lande endorsed the funding agreement on November 16. Chief Councilor Andrew Andy extended appreciation to the Regional District for their support of this renovation project by saying that young people in the Valley will benefit from the retrofit of the Hall.
“The Nuxalk Nation sees this as a stepping stone to work more collaboratively with CCRD in the future,” Andy stated.
After officially signing the agreement, Chief Andy invited Regional District elected officials and administration to a ‘meet and greet’ luncheon hosted by Nuxalk Council at the CCRD’s December 13 meeting.
Chair Lande accepted the invitation, and reminded Chief Andy about plans to hold a ‘Community to Community’ forum with all mid-coast First Nations and the Regional District as participants in the near future.