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City/Celgar to meet

Celgar pulp mill in Castlegar

The City of Castlegar and Celgar are slated to meet this Friday as a next step in seeking a resolution to the pulp mill’s refusal to pay its $3.6 million tax bill.

Councillor Kevin Chernoff, also a member of the city’s newly-formed major industry tax committee, said the goal of the meeting is to broaden the lines of communication between the two organizations.

“I’m hoping we can at least start a decent dialogue with Celgar,” he said.

He said the new committee has already met once, on July 15, to discuss what to do about the outstanding taxes owed other jurisdictions – the city collects taxes for the regional district (RDCK), the school board and so forth on its municipal bill.

“There was some question as to whether or not Castlegar should still pay those amounts (despite not having received payment for them),” he said. “I think the (RDCK’s) big concern was that we weren’t just singling them out, since our relationship with the regional district has traditionally been somewhat rocky.

“Obviously, that’s not what we’re doing – we just haven’t yet had formal discussions with all the impacted jurisdictions.”

He added there’s still no word on when Castlegar and Celgar might get their day in court regarding the taxation issue.