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REPORTING · 15th January 2014
Walter McFarlane
The topic of My Mountain Co-Op’s grant for 2014 came up during a discussion on Pre-budget Approval at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, January 13th. Over the past couple of years, Kitimat City Council has granted the ski hill $15,000.

“I would like to propose a motion, the $15,000 be put aside in our 2014 District of Kitimat Budget and that staff investigate a Bus Program so Kitimat residents to access, promote and benefit My Mountain Co-Op in the 2014-2015 ski season,” said Councillor Phil Germuth.

“Originally, at a previous Council, the $15,000 was set up to address any potential shortfalls and operations of the Ski Hill. The Volunteers and the My Mountain Co-Op members have done an outstanding job of enhancing this area. In the spirit of continuing to support this regional asset, I feel that this is a way that we can have to both the My Mountain Co-Op and to the people of Kitimat whose tax payer money we’ve been using to help benefit this area,” said Germuth.

He stated he found out that a forty-eight person bus costs around $1000 a day. He suggested there were 15 days there. He suggested opening it up for kids, adults and everybody. He said this could potentially put $18,000 of revenue through providing skiers to them.

Councillor Corinne Scott agreed the proposal would benefit My Mountain Co-Op. She stated the mountain benefited the region and they were providing up to $15,000 to cover shortfalls at the Co-Op to cover short falls, while last year, it was an outright grant.

“This proposal, where we have the staff look into a bus service for people from Kitimat, to take people from Kitimat, even if it’s only operating one day a week, we advertise there is a bus for skiing on Saturdays, our funding then will be going to subsidize Kitimat people which will go to the Ski Hill and Spend their money,” said Scott.

Councillor Mary Murphy stated My Mountain Co-Op had purchased a bus which was going to Bechtel and picking up people from the camp to take them to the hill every Sunday. She said they were not certain if this would fill the bus or not. They were going to go back to their management to suggest picking up people in Kitimat. She was going to wait for their reply to the question.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff expressed he was against the motion.

“I am very much in support of exploring options for busing and other transportation and links to the My Mountain Ski Hill at Shames. I’m also in support of cross country skiing bussing. That’s another item that’s outside of our boundaries that we don’t seem to have a problem supporting, the flying club outside of our boundary, we support them. It keeps coming back over and over and over again, that people for one reason or another don’t like the idea of My Mountain Co-Op,” said Feldhoff.

He said the finances at My Mountain Co-Op were better but they have many things to accomplish and the Contribution from Kitimat was small for the benefit of all the residents of Kitimat. He told Council it was less than the grant which Kitimat gives to many of their recreational facilities and is on par with what they give the Youth Curling every year.

“Let’s defeat this motion, lets approve the $15,000, I thought it was already approved and lets introduce a second motion to explore bussing. To cloud the issue to keep linking things like this over and over and over again, it’s disappointing,” said Feldhoff.

“There is nothing disappointing about this. This is trying to get our kids and Kitimat members to have better access to the hill. A lot of Kitimat parents have more than one kid. One kid is in hockey so they have to make a choice, ‘do we do this today or do we do that.’ Having a bus actually gives an opportunity for many other Kitimat residents to go up there, not just kids, adults could fill this bus too,” said Germuth.

Councillor Rob Goffinet saw the motion as giving the money to the Co-Op while they study busing. He was told the motion was to put it aside and see if the Council could make a bussing program work. If they could not make it work, they will give it to them anyway.

“I feel that this is something better, to investigate it at this time, at the end of the ski season, we have lots of time to look into something like this and have a way of giving back something to the community and even helping out Shames more than $15,000 would just in a cheque,” said Germuth.

Goffinet stated he was not trying to be obstreperous; he was trying to understand this. It was explained to him again. Then, the motion was called, but there was confusion and a revote had to be called again. The motion passed with Councillor’s Murphy, Feldhoff and Goffinet opposed.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to have the staff investigate bussing to the ski trails as well, to be consistent. Councillor Mary Murphy agreed because: “Staff has been so underworked, they might be able to tie that in to maybe picking them up and dropping some off on the way outside of town.”

Councillor Rob Goffinet also agreed, refusing to be tongue and cheek about it. He stated people could be dropped off at the Onion Lake Ski Trails on their way to shames. The motion was called and carried.
No Tax dollars
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 5th February 2014
We do not benefit tax dollars from the ski hill. it's not in Terrace. It's in the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine.
bus?
Comment by mlf on 20th January 2014
a bus program for skiing? But no bus program for the airport....interesting!
First? Second?
Comment by Kitimatian Skier on 17th January 2014
I am quite sure that there aren't too many tax dollars going to Terrace from Shames Mnt. They do get a tax break from the city of Terrace for the office space they use in town but I doubt any portion of the $15000 from Kitimat goes toward keeping the lights on.
The benefits of a regional resource such as Shames Mnt. are far greater than any one community can claim as thier own.
terrace? ski hiill
Comment by djb on 16th January 2014
Although I am not a regular skier, I do believe the hill is a valuable REGIONAL asset and is part of what make living in the NW wothwhile.(And I serously doubt Terrace gets any tax revenue out of it)As for taxes, has anyone checked the relative tax rates between Kitimat and surrounding communites? I doubt people in Kitimat are as hard done by as some seem to think.
Wake up kitimat
Comment by Kitimatfirst on 15th January 2014
I still cannot believe that Kitimat tax money goes to TERRACE ski hill, which benefit TERRACE tax renenue. Hello, wake up, use the money for a sidewalk on Quatsino, before someone gets run over.
Motion?
Comment by Larry Walker on 15th January 2014
The motion would put aside $15,000 in budget to allow staff to explore bussing for downhill and crosscountry skiers? So the door is still open to donate this tax money directly to Shame Co-Op?

And why are we giving tax money to the local Flying Cub which is also outside out boundries? How many people in Kitimat can afford an airplane these days?

Respectfully suggest mayor and council get their priorities right when doling out my tax dollars.