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Two controversial development projects still on Province's books

Kutenai Landing drawing.

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

Two projects that have caused hue and cry from some sectors of Nelson are still on the Provincial books as “proposed,” according to a major provincial projects report released recently.

New Future Building Group’s Kutenai Landing and the Glacier/Howser energy project pursued by Purcell Green Power are still listed as major proposed projects by the Ministry of Finance’s Major Projects Inventory for the city and region.

The report listed 32 projects in all for the Kootenay region, with three on hold, one complete, 11 underway and 17 proposed.

According to the report, Kutenai Landing’s first phase is a proposed five-storey residential resort development that will also include an assisted living complex and a private marina.

“The project will proceed as market indicates,” the report stated.

The $15-million project was last updated with the provincial Ministry of Finance in September of 2010. But New Future’s Mike Rink has had trouble selling half of the 32 units required for financing the first phase of the development since he began in late 2008, and the two-year window for a start time — contained in the development agreement — is running out.

Glacier/Howser is listed as a $240-million project that is expected to start in “early 2011,” with a finish of November of 2011, having last been updated by the ministry in December of 2010.

However, the proposed project is still mired in the review phase under the Environmental Assessment Act — having been selected in the BC Hydro 2006 call for power.

The proposed run-of-river hydro plant could have a capacity of 90.5 megawatts, flowing into the Duncan reservoir.

The report listed Nelson’s emergency department renovation at Kootenay Lake Hospital ($15 million) and its CT scanner suite as underway.

Two hours north near Nakusp, a $52-million development to the Halcyon Hot Springs will add 246 units — including a 150-unit condominium hotel and a 96-unit chalet and cottage-style units — to the resort. Forty-four units have been completed.

In Rossland, Red Mountain Ventures is spending $900 million on a 15-year expansion to take the resort from 1,200 acres to more than 4,000 acres. Plans include a beginner ski area as the first of a 2,600-acre ski terrain expansion.

Other proposed projects in the region included Castlegar’s Hugh Keenleyside Dam spillway gate upgrades ($102 million) and an industrial recycling plant for Christina Lake ($200 million).

Four projects are in the works for Fernie, with Marten Ridge’s wind energy project, Blackstone Resort’s $100-million residential development, Crown Mountain’s coal project ($100 million) and the Lodgepole coal mine ($150 million).

Grand Forks had two proposed projects on the books — Cascade Heritage Power Park and Interfor Sawmill replacement and power plant — and Trail had Teck Metals’ furnace additions ($100 million) and the Waneta Power Plant expansion ($900 million) as its major projects.

Construction has started on Fernie’s $250-million Alpine Resort development — for a sixth lodge — as well as 63 townhomes for Invermere’s Panorama Mountain Village ($250 million) and 300 residential units for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies in Kimberley ($200 million).

Celgar’s green energy project in Castlegar was the only Kootenay project listed as completed. The $$55-million project finished in October of 2010 for a bio-energy project that uses wood fibre sources and high-pressure steam to produce electricity.

The sources of information for the inventory included print and electronic media, developers, architects, general contractors, and government agencies (provincial, regional, municipal) as well as occasional site visits.