City council will vote on Monday, April 12, on the proposed extension to BC Housing’s temporary operating permit for its emergency shelter at the old Hardy View Lodge. Photo: Kate Saylors

City council will vote on Monday, April 12, on the proposed extension to BC Housing’s temporary operating permit for its emergency shelter at the old Hardy View Lodge. Photo: Kate Saylors

Grand Forks, province reach tentative deal to operate permanent homeless shelter

The deal could see a permanent solution to the city’s problems with its “Motocross” campsite

Grand Forks city council and the province are brokering a tentative deal to build permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness at the tenement campsite known as “Moto,” according to the city’s provincial liaison, Coun. Everett Baker.

The city owns “Moto,” a disused motocross track on Morrissey Creek Road which has attracted a number of illegally parked RVs in recent years.

“It’s been a long time coming, but I think all the puzzle pieces are starting to come together,” Baker told The Gazette Thursday, March 26.

READ MORE: Grand Forks’ council asks for public feedback on permit that would keep shelter open until next spring

READ MORE: Grand Forks City council approves permit for winter homeless shelter

The province has agreed in principle to fund a combined emergency shelter and supportive housing facility at Moto, which could see the province return BC Housing’s proposed 2nd Street property to city ownership, which would end the agency’s contentious proposal to run supportive housing out of that location, Baker said. Meanwhile, in a signed letter to Mayor Brian Taylor and city council, Attorney General and housing minister David Eby said on March 19, “I encourage you to keep the temporary shelter [at the old Hardy View Lodge] open,” as the province expedites plans to work out infrastructural logistics at the proposed Moto site.

Grand Forks and Victoria are meanwhile discussing additional provincial funding for more city bylaw officers and the cleanup of campgrounds on city property, including those currently established at Moto, he added.

Negotiations got underway last week after Attorney General and housing minister David Eby overrode a vote by Penticton city council, which would have closed a 42-bed shelter for people experiencing homelessness.

READ MORE: Grand Forks’ shelter to run until May, as council defers further extension

READ MORE: BC Housings says Grand Forks shelter is working at Old Hardy View Lodge

Baker had previously voted against BC Housing’s request for a two-week extension to its operating permit for the old Hardy View shelter, telling council that shelter clients had wreaked “havoc” on their host neighbourhood. But Baker said he realized it would be in the city’s interest to work constructively with Minister Eby and BC Housing.

“Instead of having a pissing match with the ministry, as might be seen as what’s happening in Penticton, we were able to negotiate in good faith,” he said.

READ MORE: Grand Forks city hall takes trailers out of ‘Moto’ campsite

The decision now falls to city council, which recently asked for public feedback on the old Hardy View shelter’s proposed extension — to approve or deny the agency’s permit to keep the doors open at 2320 78th Ave until March 31, 2022. All parties hope to have the proposed Moto facility permanently up and running by that time.

On Friday, March 26, City Hall sent notification to residents within a 100-metre radius of the shelter, explaining the broad terms of the deal.

Noting that “there is no downside” to the proposed solution, Baker said, “I would hope that, for the good of the city, that the public will realize that this is a good thing and support it.”

The 15-bed shelter at the old Hardy View Lodge has been staffed and operated 24/7 by Boundary Family Services (BFS) since it opened last December. Executive director Darren Pratt has said that BFS would continue to operate any homeless shelter in Grand Forks if asked by BC Housing and city council.

Pratt and Grand Forks RCMP’s Sgt. Darryl Peppler have been invited to field councillors’ questions before council votes on the proposed extension at the old Hardy View Lodge shelter on Monday, April 12.

Council will open the proposed “Moto” shelter to public feedback if the city can reach a final agreement with the province and BC Housing, Baker said.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC HousingCity CouncilCity HallGrand ForksHomelessness

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School District 51 reported a potential COVID-19 exposure at Grand Forks Secondary School on Thursday, April 22. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
School board reports possible COVID exposure at Grand Forks high school

School District 51 said a member of the school community had tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

Nav Canada will not be closing the tower at West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada tower to remain open at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization was considering closing the tower

Fruits and veggies made a big splash at the last Grand Forks and District Fall Fair, held at Dick Bartlett Park and the nearby curling rink in September 2019. Fair president Danna O’Donnell said there would not be a return to in-person events this fall, citing COVID and financial constraints. Photo: Jensen Edwards
Grand Forks fall fair cancels in-person events for 2021

The fair’s board of directors is meanwhile considering relocating the fairgrounds

File photo.
Let’s cut the ‘and’ in ‘Mental Health and Addictions’

We need to acknowledge that addiction is a mental health issue

Four homes in Johnson Flats were at serious risk of falling into a neighbourhood section of the Kettle River, according to capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks shields riverside homes against erosion

Crews have built a modified dike along a section of the Kettle River in Johnson Flats

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read