A $4.5 million gas bar will be catching the eyes of motorists travelling along Highway 20 next year.
Earlier this month, the Tl’entinqox Government broke ground on the project that is set to be completed by January 2021.
Ashton Harry, the executive director for development for the Tl’etinqox Government, said that the investment into the gas bar is huge for there community.
“Our community has been asking for a new gas bar for a really long time. It’s something that was initially defined within our community comprehensive planning process, and something that the community really drove and something that they really wanted.”
The gas bar was originally supposed to be built in 2017, but the fires in the area caused the construction to be delayed.
“We weren’t able to build, and it kind of got put on hold and was put on the back burner,” Harry said. “Chief Joe (Alphonse) had to go back to the table and renegotiate, and then we finally got it, so now we are back on track.”
She said that the community is excited as the construction is happening at a rapid rate.
“It’s nice to see some movement in the community, and people are excited that it’s going to create more full-time work, and it’s going to bring potentially more tourism in our area, and more people are going to see the beauty in our territory.”
“We’ve never had a building of this size here, and it’s a huge improvement,” Harry continued. “The current store is pretty small, and our customer base is pretty large. We pretty much service all of the communities along Highway 20, and we see all the traffic from Williams Lake that comes through Bella Coola.”
The gas bar, which will be called ‘Chilcotin River Trading’ and will be 3,000 square feet, and will give the community a chance to fill up on more than just gas.
“It will offer a cafe; we will also be serving Spirit Bear Coffee products,” Harry said. “There is potential for locally grown produce and locally sourced meat. It’s going to offer everything associated with a convenience store as well.”
She noted that they will also have a tourism area that will feature stories about there community, and will pay tribute to past leaders and the community history.