Burns Lake is moving forward with its plan to create a task force that will help the village prepare for a possible loss of economic activity in 2020.
After 2020, the Burns Lake Community Forest and the Chinook Community Forest will represent only a portion of the log supply required to keep Babine Forest Products and Decker Lake Forest Products operating.
Representatives from the Village of Burns Lake and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) recently met to discuss details of the new task force – being called the Lakes District Economic Diversification Committee.
The meeting included Sheryl Worthing, village’s Chief Administrative Officer; Val Anderson, village’s Economic Development Officer; Bill Miller, RDBN’s Director of Electoral Area B; Burns Lake Acting Mayor John Illes; and Melany de Weerdt, RDBN’s Chief Administrative Officer.
The committee recently submitted an application for the B.C. Rural Dividend fund. If successful, this fund will allow a facilitator to come to Burns Lake and work with the newly formed committee to try to find ways to diversify the local economy.
The village expects to find out if the application was successful by March 2017.
According to Burns Lake’s city clerk Cameron Hart, if the grant is not successful, than the committee will “look to find alternative means of funding or to scale back the project to a level that would be feasible without funding.”
The village and RDBN representatives will hold another meeting soon to discuss the committee’s terms of reference.