Port Alice has offered Neucel Specialty Cellulose a tax break if it re-opens next year.
Port Alice Council held a select committee meeting on Sept. 8 to discuss a recent in-person meeting they had with Miles Lu, chief financial officer for Fulida Canada Holdings, which is the owner of the Neucel Specialty Cellulose pulp mill, which has been closed since February of 2015.
Council received a letter late Friday afternoon (Sept. 9) from Lu, and they held a special in-camera meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 12 to discuss the contents of the letter.
Council ended up passing a motion unanimously that the Village of Port Alice will reduce Neucel Specialty Cellulose’s taxes by 25 per cent, but only on the condition that the pulp mill starts back up in 2017.
“Contingent on the mill operating, the Village of Port Alice will then discuss with Neucel their taxes for 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021,” said Port Alice Mayor Jan Allen.
“We will help them out as much as we can, provided they operate.”
When asked how a 25 per cent reduction in taxes might affect the Village, Allen was quick to reply that “we’re all going to feel some pain in each department, but it’s doable. We’ll have to tighten our belts, but we can do that.”
Neucel asked for tax breaks in a presentation to the village council in July.