Comment period on Masset airport extended to Monday

  • Oct. 18, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Masset residents have been given a few more days to share their opinions about the design of the airport terminal building before council decides whether to go ahead with it. Council voted Monday night (Oct. 17) to extend the deadline for comments on the design to Mon. Oct. 24, after receiving only one letter in response to the previous deadline. That letter came from John Disney, who told council he remains concerned about the “look” of the building, and suggested that Masset cooperate with Old Massett and Port Clements on the project as it did on the new hospital. “As this will be the first impression many visitors will have of Haida Gwaii I was hoping for a little more of a cultural feel to the place,” Mr. Disney wrote. “I understand fully the constraints on funding and the associated time lines etc, however maybe it would be better to take a little more time on the planning and get it right.” Mr. Disney also suggested the village get the sports lodges involved in the terminal design, as those businesses make so much use of the airport. Administrator Trevor Jarvis told council that his recommendation was to proceed with the tender process, get some bids in, and take a look at how much the terminal will actually cost to build. The village can still make changes to the exterior of the building after that, he said. “We need to put it out to tender soon so we know what we are dealing with,” he said. But councillor Andrew Merilees said it would be better to wait for one more week and make sure that residents have had a chance to fully consider the design for the $2-million building. “I would feel more comfortable if we gave everyone as much time as we can,” he said. “I think that would be prudent.” The original terminal plan provoked many negative comments from area residents, who said they would like to see the building more reflective of Haida culture and design. The latest plans, now available at the village office, were drawn up with help from an architect. The new, extended deadline for written comments is Oct. 24 at 4 pm. Monday’s council meeting was attended by mayor Barry Pages and councillors Andrew Merilees and Buck Grosse. Councillor Ian Edwards, who is running for re-election, did not attend.