Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit August 11, 2017 - 8:00 am

Iqaluit HTA moves slowly on community freezer

Long-awaited country food freezer delayed by multiple snafus

BETH BROWN
City planner Ruth Treasure and Amarok Hunters and Trappers Association representative Tom Demcheson at an Iqaluit City Council meeting Aug. 8.  A community freezer that Iqaluit’s Amarok HTA is proposing will move forward slowly, helped by a three-year land use permit granted by the city. The grace period will give the association time to sort out some recent administration mix-ups. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)
City planner Ruth Treasure and Amarok Hunters and Trappers Association representative Tom Demcheson at an Iqaluit City Council meeting Aug. 8. A community freezer that Iqaluit’s Amarok HTA is proposing will move forward slowly, helped by a three-year land use permit granted by the city. The grace period will give the association time to sort out some recent administration mix-ups. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)

Iqaluit’s Amarok Hunters and Trappers Association has three years to work on start-up snags with its proposed community freezer, which was most recently stalled when a land survey they paid for did not meet the City of Iqaluit’s legal requirements.

“We had a survey done about a year ago but we found out it was not a legal survey,” Amarok HTA representative Tom Demcheson told Iqaluit city councillors Aug. 8.

“We didn’t know the process for a legal survey. We found out after the fact.”

Without the survey, which the city has no record of, a development permit cannot be issued.

So to keep the community project moving forward, the Amarok HTA was granted a three-year land use permit by council, to begin construction and operation of an outdoor walk-in freezer, near the city waterfront, which is expected to cost about $200,000.

The freezer—to be used for country food storage by hunters and for feasts—could have been full by now, from the summer hunt.

The freezer opening had been planned for the spring of 2017 when the Amarok HTA spoke to council last November.

But a proper lot survey hasn’t been the only hold up. Required parking space has yet to be settled through discussions with the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum, holders of the adjacent lot.

The AHTA thought this issue was worked out as well, “but upon research… we found out that there was no follow up to a proposed agreement,” Demcheson said.

“So we are playing catch up on the lot and the parking,” Demcheson said.

In July, the Amarok HTA provided the city with a design update for the freezer, after the city requested that the cold storage unit be clad, or sided, so that its exterior would not look like a shipping container.

The city’s general plan includes a “beautify the core” clause, which prohibits sea can-like structures in the downtown core. 

All this sorted out, “we seem to be moving forward… we don’t want to drag it on forever,” Demcheson said, when asked by Coun. Joanasie Akumalik if three years would be long enough.

The three-year permit was chosen to show consistent practice by city staff, as the permit mirrors a similar one granted to the ski club for sea can storage, city planner Ruth Treasure said.

The three-year period also allows time for reworking parking agreements with occupants of the adjacent lot prior to resurveying the area, for which the city would usually grant a two-year grace period, Treasure said.

“It would be the intention that a development permit would be issued once those items are resolved,” she said. 

Talks between the AHTA and the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum will happen in September.

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