(Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

(Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

Council announces support for full-time BETHS shelter

The surprise announcement was made on Tuesday night by Mayor Frank Konrad.

Grand Forks may be getting a year around shelter, according to a surprise announcement at City of Grand Forks council on Tuesday night.

According to an off-agenda announcement made by mayor Frank Konrad, council approved a motion Tuesday afternoon during an in-camera meeting to lend “support” to a project by the Boundary Extreme and Transition Housing Society (BETHS).

According to the information released from in camera, council received a presentation from BETHS on Tuesday on a “proposal for a full-time shelter/hub” through a funding opportunity from BC Housing.

“As a part of the initiative, there is a requirement from the municipality to offer its support for the initiative,” the announcement read by Konrad states.

Council adopted the following resolution: “That Council directs staff to commence the process and options n support of the BETHS full time shelter/hub initiative contingent on their receiving funding opportunity as applied and approved by BC Housing.”

The issue of the eviction notice the City issued to BETHS and neighbouring Whispers of Hope was not raised at the meeting.

In response to a question from the Gazette, mayor Konrad declined to answer why the request of support from BETHS, unlike the recent request for support from the Boundary Women’s Coalition, was done in-camera rather than at a public meeting.

The in-camera meeting resolution from Tuesday morning noted that as per Section 90(1)(e) of the Community Charter, council can go in camera to discuss “the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements” if disclosure could harm the municipality.

Konrad declined to comment on whether the city would be selling or donating land for this project, and referred all further questions to BETHS.

Representatives for BETHS had not yet returned a request for comment; this story will be updated when the Gazette receives comment.