Town acquiring prime agricultural land – 120 hectares previously owned by Northern Pork

Kristen Campbell/NNSL photo The Town of Hay River has forgiven the debt on the parcel of land previously used by Northern Pork Ltd. By forgiving the outstanding amount owed, the town is able to take the land back into their inventory.

The Town of Hay River is acquiring a parcel of territorial land that has potential for agriculture use.

Town Council moved to forgive $21,462.56 worth of debt previously owed to the town by Northern Pork, a pig farm operation that failed to take off in the 1990s.

With the 120 hectare property back in the town’s hands, residents are looking to take the opportunity to promote local agriculture.

Coun. Kevin Wallington said  although a decision has not been made on the future of the property, he believes it could be valuable space to use for local food production.

“It certainly is a nice chunk of land to give us an opportunity to see how we can expand our agricultural services in Hay River,” he said, adding the town still needs to determine how it can be best utilized for agricultural purposes.

Wallington said the property will be able to fit into the proposed agricultural plan the town recently received funding for, but the town will need to make sure it is in the best interest of the community and a plan is in place.

“What we want to do is make sure that whatever we do with property that comes into our hands, is make sure there is a solid plan it fits into,” he said. “We need to be very careful about the land that we do have, because land is difficult to get.”

In order to finalize the deal, SAO Michael Richardson explained there are a few more formal steps remaining, such as sending all the required documentation to the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, but the land acquisition is more or less a done deal.

“The only step left for the site is to have the Town of Hay River put on the Certificate of Title from the previous owner, the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories,” he said.

Once the land is acquired, further discussions will be held surrounding the future of the property and the proposed local agriculture plan.

Representatives from the Territorial Farmers Association were unavailable for comment as of The Hub’s press time.