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October 27, 2017 5:07 pm

Transit Site in P.G. – What Now?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Barely 24-hours removed from Prince George City Council’s decision to unanimously quash plans to locate new BC Transit Operations and Maintenance facility at Foothills and 18th due to public outcry,  talks were already underway to try and find a new site.

“The City of Prince George has made a land-use decision based on public feedback and we have to respect that land-use decision,” says BC Transit communications manager Jonathan Dyck.

“We are working in partnership with the City of Prince George to find another location that can meet the needs of the community as the current facility is nearing capacity and that was what drove the project to find a new location for BC Transit’s Operations and Maintenance facility in Prince George.”  Currently, BC Transit is operating out of a leased site in the BCR Industrial Park in Prince George.

The catch is that the new project, to meet the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund requirements, a new facility must be completed by March 2019.

“We will be working with the city to try and identify another site as there a need in the city for a new transit facility,” says Dyck. “As we review the sites, we’ll have to keep the deadline in mind and the potential cost of another site.”

So, which sites are being considered?

“We’ve looked at a number of sites previously and are revisiting sites and trying to identify any new opportunities,” says Dyck.  “As we may be entering land negotiations for other potential sites as we try to identify where they might be, we can’t comment about locations that might be considered.”

He says they will have more answers on the $23 million facility “as that process moves forward.”

The City has confirmed  sites  reviewed during the first go-round  are being  revisited, and  some new potential sites  have been added to the list  for consideration.   B.C. Transit  has the final say on  which property  it believes is best suited for the  operations and maintenance centre.

One thing is clear,  the sites now being considered will not require a change to the Official Community Plan.   All sites being reviewed  have  Industrial zoning, but may need to be rezoned  within that category from  heavy industrial to light industrial.  That would  bring the matter back to Council for a public hearing.

The City paid $525 thousand dollars last fall for the  piece of property  which made up part of  the overall  site which  Council has now  rejected.  The other portion of the site  had been purchased by the City nearly 20 years ago  in preparation for the possible extension of Foothills Boulevard. As Councillor Frank Everitt noted during Monday  night’s discussion on rejecting the  site, there will be a financial repercussion  for the City ” We will have to go through that,(process) to find the appropriate piece of property and it’s going to cost us  some money, but if that’s what folks want us to do, then that will be the price we have to pay  to  have the right property  people will be satisfied with and Council will be satisfied with.”

The overall  project  would have seen  traffic lights installed at Foothills and  18th Avenue, the west end snow dump  at Foothills and 15th moved, and  improved pedestrian  crossings as well as curb  and gutter to bring that stretch of Foothills up to  City standards. With the  proposed site now  off the list,  the roadway improvements have lost some  of their urgency,  although  the City  is still  moving forward to find a new site for the west bowl snow dump.


Seems to me that the savings on not doing the upgrades on Foothills and 18th will go a long way to offset the cost of locating this project in an Industrial Park.

Perhaps the City could (at some point) tell us how much was saved, and give us the actual extra costs involved in locating somewhere else.

The question begs to be asked as to why would the City spend over half a million dollars on a piece of property, when approval for such a facility was in the balances? Why wasn’t a refundable deposit, subject to approval made? Now what is the City going to do with that property? Add it to the list of other city owned, unused property?

We have all this newly cleared land on the new Boundary Rd. From the new Inland Kenworth to Hwy 16 east. What is wrong with this area?
And a bus stop out this way too would not be a bad idea either.

I’m with you Cheetos on your question and comments. This whole transit deal has made me realize how ignorant I am about what really goes on at City Hall. How much vacant land does the City own? Which private lands are in tax arrears? Why are so many used vacant industrial lots sitting empty, yet we continue to expand our industrial area and services? The “build it and they will come” aspect of the Boundary Road industrial park isn’t exactly booming either, is it? How long do we have to wait to see some improvement/action on the Connaught Inn, the Backpacker Motel etc. Questions, questions, questions!

I would have to agree with the post above that the Boundary road area seems like the perfect location, as they need to find a way to get development started out there now that so much area has been cleared.

Buying this property at 18th & Foothills on speculation sounds a lot like when they tried to purchase the Hart North property out past Salmon Valley a few years back. I believe that area is still vacant, so the City would be paying taxes to Crown Lands at this point if the purchase had gone through.

4th ave city yards – city already owns it!!!
old LEJ,
old inland kenworth
old Canadian freight ways
the list goes on…

    those all make sense, I don’t think council knows what that is

    Canadian Freightways has the largest paved area aside from Pine center. It has a large mechanical shop and the warehouse could be converted to wash bays and more mechanical bays. Lots of office space, big yard.

Perfect spot would be the greyhound location if they could swing a deal with greyhound to move it out of the town center and away from the panhandlers.

    The Greyhound location is much too small for what is needed.

what is wrong with the sirte they have now? never heard the reason for that from the powers that think they are.

I think they are using now is leased property and space is limited. Also, the City wants to take advantage of the federalprovincial “green” grants that are available for a limited time, and I don’t have a problem with that.

Ok, that is an opportunity squandered by a counselors. I elected to you to look after the best interest of the city.

The plan is always to connect foothills to Ferry Avenue. This was going to be the catalyst.

The green space that the public use is not a designated greenspace, its just un used property. Ginter’s field is not a park, just unused space.

Way to go counselors… what your afraid of the up coming election. Sometimes you have to make unpopular decision for the long term planning. Be a statesman, not a politician.

my 25 cents worth

Federal Government working with Provincial Government, working with BC Transit, working with Municipal Government, spells, disaster for taxpayers. Millions of dollars wasted through Government incompetence to build a facility that for all intents and purposes is not needed.

Restrictions on the use of the money, and short time frames to get it spent do not help the situation.

This is all part of the Federal Government spending billions of borrowed dollars on infrastructure spending.

While I can support to some extent the Government spending money on infrastructure
to produce jobs, etc, I dont support the waste of this money on facilities that are not needed.

Why not the old Winton planermill site on River Rd.?

    Haha, read my mind. The one issue I could see is that this site is on a flood plain & is quite prone & vulnerable to spring floods. I would hazard a guess that Sinclar Enterprises would want top dollar for a mostly worthless property ( business wise). Otherwise, tons of room & out of the way.

      I heard a few years ago that Excel was going to relocate to that location, but then nothing ever came of it. Maybe a deal could be worked to purchase the existing Excel location on Ongman road which is as central as it could get for PG Transit and have Excel go ahead with its relocation to River Road?

I still think the best location would be the empty lot across highway 97 from the brewery at the North Nechako overpass. It’s city land already, it is already zoned appropriately, and it has other bus and transportation enterprises in the same industrial zone. That is the right location in my mind, or some other location in the general area.

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