Atlantic Power Corporation’s power plant in Williams Lake could shut down by January 2025.
A notice was given to City Council during the Committee of Whole meeting yesterday (February 6th), due to cost and lack of fibre that’s used to create electricity for the City.
Councillor Scott Nelson says a closure like this would be a significant loss to the community.
“We’re talking tens of millions of dollars that they spend locally into our community, and probably got 30 to 40 full-time people that work there, and then when they bring all their contractors in to do work, they spend millions of dollars.” says Nelson.
“They’re the largest single taxpayer in the City of Williams Lake.”
Nelson added Atlantic Power contributes $1.7 million to the local economy through taxation and water and sewage.
He says Atlantic Power burns between 400,000 to 600,000 tonnes of wood waste at it’s current level of operation and produces enough energy to power 50,000 homes daily.
Chief Financial Officer, Vitali Kozubenko says that taxation wise, if the City continues spending as they are now, taxes will probably be allocated to the residents and businesses in the City.
“The City would lose about $800,000 in revenue, and it’s quite a significant impact if you’re talking about taxing only residential people, it would be a 10 percent tax increase in only one year if we were to continue taxing the same amount.”
Kozubenko says that it would also impact schools and the hospital, because the City is funding them as well from taxation.
Nelson thinks that there needs to be flexibility on the province’s side as the power plant doesn’t have access to a decent price of fiber within the contract.
He says they all need to sit down and work collectively to try and ensure that there’s a good contract that will work for everybody for ten years.