Hupacasath First Nation has withdrawn from the Clutesi Haven Marina RFP process.
In a letter dated Aug. 29, Hupacasath Chief Steven Tatoosh said that they were not successful in obtaining the necessary $2.2 million in funds to ensure the Clutesi project begins construction in a timely manner.
Hupacasath First Nation put in a proposal for a development at the marina last year that would feature a year-round farmers market and visitor centre.
Hupacasath Council felt the delays in funding were detrimental to progress necessary under the RFP, Tatoosh wrote, and that other proponents should have the opportunity to partner with the city of Port Alberni and the Port Alberni Port Authority, instead.
During a Sept. 18 meeting of city council, Port Alberni mayor Mike Ruttan said that the city will have to look at the whole process and hold a discussion with the Port Authority to decide what their next step will be. “There wasn’t any final decision made,” he said.
City CAO Tim Pley confirmed that the city has an accord agreement with the Port Authority that involves the Port Authority paying the city an annual fee in lieu of taxes.
“We have a five-year agreement to do with this proposal that is now off the table that will see five years of that accord payment be committed to that project,” he said.
This accord agreement is for almost $100,000 per year and the city is two years into this accord, said Pley.
City staff will be reaching out to the Port Authority and asking them to submit to those two years of payments, which they have been holding out for the Clutesi Marina project.