The Ministry of Highways has abandoned plans to re-pave Highway 16 north of Port Clements next year, Masset mayor Barry Pages says.
Instead, the Ministry will seal coat the highway between Port and Masset, he said, and re-pave only the portion between the Masset causeway and Old Massett.
Mr. Pages said he was informed of the change in plans during a meeting with Ministry of Highways officials last week.
“I let them know my frustrations,” Mr. Pages told Masset council Monday night (Sept. 11). “It just seems to be a mish mash of planningÂ… I don’t think a lot of people are going to be happy when they find out it’s just going to be seal coating from Port Clements north.”
The Ministry has completely re-paved and widened Highway 16 south of Port Clements over the past few years, with the most recent work being the re-paving of the portion between Alliford Bay and Sandspit, work which was completed this summer.
In other Masset news:
o Masset chief financial officer Kim Mushynsky will temporarily represent north Graham Island on the Gwaii Trust Society while director Ian Hetman is away from mid-September until early November. Mr. Hetman’s usual alternate, Janet Brown, is ill and off-island. Masset council members were joined by Elizabeth MacLean, chair of the Tow Hill Road Committee, for the vote affirming Ms Mushynsky as the alternate.
o Council members gave their approval to a salvage proposal from Old Massett village council’s economic development department. Old Massett wants to salvage around 400 cubic metres of blown down cedar in the area around Garbage Dump Road south of the airport. The wood will maintain employment at the shingle mill in the Masset industrial site, according to the letter from economic development officer John Disney.
o Councillor Marlene Liddle said many people in the community will face a tough winter because they won’t have worked enough hours to receive EI benefits. Work at the fish plants is slowing down, she said, and people are extremely concerned.
Mr. Pages said Masset has written letters to the local MLA and MP, as well as the federal minister responsible for the EI program, asking that the required hours of work be reduced for the north coast.
o Council members voted to hold a public hearing Oct. 19 to see what residents think of a proposed change of hours at the Haida Bucks Lounge at the airport. Owner Darin Swanson has applied to stay open until 1:30 am on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and midnight on other nights of the week. He is currently licenced to stay open until 11 pm seven nights a week, but said in his application to change the hours that the lounge has proved popular and he has many requests to stay open later.
The application goes to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, but the branch asks for local government opinion on the application.
o Council members voted to send Mr. Pages to the Conference of Coastal Communities in Vancouver Oct. 5 and 6. The conference includes sessions on coastal fisheries, the coastal forest industry, climate change, health and First Nations perspectives.
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