City staff have been negotiating a lease with Suncor Energy Products Partnership to put in a gravel parking lot at the RC Cotton Site as further development of the RC Cotton bridge and trail project.
During the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, Feb. 4, council discussed the option of leasing a 4.18 hectare parcel that is adjacent to the new RC Cotton trail.
Hasib Nadvi, City manager of planning and development, noted in a report that previously during an in-camera meeting, council directed staff to present and offer to Suncor for a long-term lease of 20 years minimum at a value representing annual municipal property tax of the same portion of the lands.
Suncor responded with a 10-year term lease expiring Dec. 31, 2029, that would discharge Suncor of all real property tax, in the amount of $6,508.85, business license fees and utility charges on the subject lands.
Final decisions are not made at committee of the whole meetings, however, council directed staff to have further discussions with Suncor about possibly leasing the entire parcel, not just a portion.
Mayor Walt Cobb said nothing has been on the site for at least 30 years.
“When I came here in the 50s there was a little building that was a building supply, there were a couple of truck shops, the City had our Quonset Hut and we used it as a youth centre,” Cobb said.
Coun. Jason Ryll said he recalled Cariboo Roads having some truck shops there
Coun. Sheila Boehm said the more control the City has on the RC Cotton site the better because it does not have control on the Scout Island side.
“The more control we have, in my mind, the better,” Boehm said. “Let’s get the land and the use of the land.”
In 2018 the City purchased a 10-acre sliver of land from BC Rail at the RC Cotton site.
It runs along the water from south of the new pedestrian bridge to Highway 20.