Port Clements is spending its Gwaii Trust Christmas fund money on special events for seniors, toddlers, school-aged children and teens this year, instead of handing out a turkey to each household as it has done in previous years.
Clerk Terry McMullon warned council members Monday night (Dec. 4) that the village office had already received one negative phone call about the lack of turkeys, and said he will be posting a notice this week to let everyone know what is going on.
Mayor Cory Delves said the turkeys usually cost about $4,000, and the village wanted to do something different this year.
Some of the money also went towards extra Christmas decorations and lights. Last week, Port lit up the big wharf with energy-efficient lights and a big tree at the end, and volunteers will be putting up another large tree this weekend.
“It’s difficult to make everyone happy,” Mr. Delves said, adding that the decision to abandon the turkey give-away was made only after listening to much input from many people.
Council members said they had heard several positive comments about the lights, and deputy clerk Heather Nelson-Smith said a Queen Charlotte resident had even called the village office to say that “Port Clements has got its spirit back.”
In other Port news:
o Council voted to waive the hall rental fee for a teen dance on Dec. 9, and only charge a $50 janitorial fee. However, council also voted to have staff look into this issue further, as they are receiving many requests for free use of the hall. The hall does consume heat and electricity, and requires regular cleaning, which all cost the village money.
o Council voted to contract newly-elected Gwaii Trust representative Jim Abbott about setting up a Gwaii Trust advisory board.
o Councillor Urs Thomas said he is concerned about deer carcasses piling up at the west end of town, where the paved road ends. The mess attracts bears and repels visitors, he said. Mr. McMullon will look into how it could be cleaned up, and contact the Conservation Officer Service and Western Forest Products for advice.
o Mr. Delves said he had attended a tsunami preparedness presentation at Port Clements elementary school which was amazing.
“I was really impressed with the effort the school put into it,” he said.
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