District of Port Edward council has approved, pending clarification by Ron Bedard, chief administrative officer, a three-year purchase option of three parcels of District-owned land on Stapledon Island by the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
The agreement would give the Port Authority a one-year option to purchase the land with two additional one-year renewals.
Stapledon Island would be used by the Port Authority to allow Petronas to link their proposed Lelu Island LNG plant to the existing highway near Port Edward. That route, which would require the construction of two bridges on either side of Stapledon Island, would cross three parcels of land currently owned by the District.
The option to purchase will cost $20,000 each year should the Port Authority elect to renew. Should the Port Authority exercise their option to purchase the three properties, the proposal states that the District has agreed to sell the parcels at fair market value.
The sticking point, however, for District council was what their jurisdiction would be should the Port Authority exercise their option and purchase the land.
“We would have no control, once they own it,” Councillor Knut Bjorndal said.
“We should have rights over zoning.”
The questions over zoning jurisdiction and where on the tax role the lands would fall prompted council to ask Bedard to request clarification.
“It’s a question we better ask someone,” Mayor Dave MacDonald said.
Bedard said the Port Authority could make an offer to purchase at any time and the 24-page agreement did reflect council’s wishes.
“It’s been going through the lawyers for some time,” he said.
Council however, approved the motion with pending clarification of the District’s role should the Port Authority purchase the land.
“I think it’s a good deal for us and if Petronas goes ahead, it’s a good deal for them,” Bjorndal said.