Village signs agreement with chamber

Village of Burns Lake’s council meeting councillors passed a motion to renew the Visitor Information Centre Operating Agreement for 2015.

During the Village of Burns Lake’s council meeting on Nov. 4, councillors passed a motion to renew the Visitor Information Centre Operating Agreement for 2015.

The Operating Agreement is an accord between the Village of Burns Lake, the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce (BLDCC) and the Regional District of Bulkely-Nechako. The BLDCC has operated the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) over the years. The contract includes an option to renew the operating agreement each year without a necessary proposal or renegotiation, to a maximum of three years. 2015 will be year two of three.

This agreement was reviewed with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako areas B and E on Oct. 27, 2014, and was approved by all parties.

The funding for the 2015 Operating Agreement will come from the Village of Burns Lake, as well as from the Lakes Economic Development Service Function through the Regional District of Buckley-Nechako. Area E contributes $10,000 towards the Visitor Information Centre. The Village of Burns Lake and Area B contribute based on “converted assessment values which works out to about 38 per cent from the Village of Burns Lake and 62 per cent from Area B,” according to Sheryl Worthing, village’s chief administrative officer.

The total amount paid to the BLDCC will be $56,144. Out of this amount, $42,293.75 will go toward wages for employees of the Visitor Information Centre.

“We do not distinguish between manager and employee wages for the VIC contract,” said Worthing. “This amount also includes mandatory employee related costs.”

The Visitor Information Centre employs one permanent part-time employee and two summer students from May to September. The remaining funds paid to BLDCC, $13,850.3, are for general administration of the VIC, including printing and distribution expenses, travel, conferences and training, said Worthing.

According to a council report of Nov. 4, maintaining a Visitor Information Centre is an important way to showcase Burns Lake to visitors travelling Hwy 16.

“It encourages people to stop and spend the night, shop in local businesses, use local services and visit attractions unique to Burns Lake,” read the report. “It is also the first stop for people who are considering to move to Burns Lake.”

According to the council report, the Visitor Information Centre has had 3581 parties stopping in so far in 2014, an increase of 12.8 per cent compared to 2013