The City of Williams Lake is waiving facility rent fees and minimum required payments for commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Airport terminal building for six months effective October 2020 as a way to provide support to businesses impacted by COVID-19. (Angie Mindus photo)

The City of Williams Lake is waiving facility rent fees and minimum required payments for commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Airport terminal building for six months effective October 2020 as a way to provide support to businesses impacted by COVID-19. (Angie Mindus photo)

City waives rent fees for Williams Lake Airport tenants hit hard by COVID-19

Councillors said they hope the support will keep the commercial businesses afloat

Three commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport terminal building will not have to pay rent for six months.

During an in-camera meeting held Oct. 20, city council approved to waive facility rent fees and minimum required payments for the tenants effective October 2020.

The item was on the agenda at the Tuesday, Nov. 3 council meeting where council received a written report from the City’s economic development officer Beth Veenkamp.

“Activities at YWL are generally brisk with 34,694 annual passengers in 2019 and 34,549 in 2018,” noted Veenkamp in the report. “Passenger movements to the end of August were just 8,177 — a significant decline.”

Read more: Canadians file more than 8,000 complaints about airlines to agency since March

Veenkamp added that Williams Lake has an opportunity to demonstrate the YWL is a destination that is committed to weathering the storm with these businesses and will support them in seeing a resumption of services by offering this temporary measure.

Central Mountain Air has yet to offer flights again out of Williams Lake and Pacific Coastal and has been offering a modified schedule since June 2020.

Mayor Walt Cobb told the Tribune the total cost of the three rents for six months is about $6,000.

“Revenue is down for the two airlines and the car rental copmany so rather than have them move out, we offered them free rent,” Cobb said.

Read more: Pacific Coastal Airlines to increase service to Williams Lake last week in July

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