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Rooms with a view for seniors

Happy Valley campground desired location

Malcolm Gorrill
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Dec 03/01) - Members of the Inuvik Seniors Society want the new seniors complex slated for the community for next year to be built at Happy Valley campground.

Society chairperson Bertha Allen explained elders want a view facing the river and the mountains.

"That came up time and time again. The only place it could be situated to our wishes is at Happy Valley," Allen said.

"Happy Valley has a long history. People that moved here in the first place, you know, 1956, we moved here and it was a tent town. About the second or third year, most people moved to Happy Valley," Allen said.

"We are now in our senior years, and we want to go back."

Noting that the area has been a park for several years, Allen said the park only serves tourists for a short period of the year.

"We have lived here from day one."

Allen and some other society members recently met with Inuvik Boot Lake MLA Floyd Roland to discuss the topic.

Roland explained that a location just west of Happy Valley was discussed, but that the seniors decided to stick with Happy Valley. He said it's unclear whether the NWT Housing Corp. plans a six, or a nine-unit complex, but that they need to know soon where the location will be.

"They're initially talking six units, but they're trying to put some vision into this," Roland said.

"We're going to have to look at expansion. You like to have all your services support in a site, to have them all around one location if possible."

Roland explained the Housing Corp. will be informed of the seniors' decision, as will the Town of Inuvik, as well as Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development.

"RWED comes into the picture because they have access and control to this land," Roland said. "It is under their control in the sense of the campsite, but I believe it is still sort of commissioner land. It's government controlled," Roland said.

He said the town is involved in the process, and that they might have to look at establishing another campsite within the community if the seniors complex goes into Happy Valley.

"Now it's back in the government's hands in the sense of where do you go from this," Roland said.

"The land issue becomes a fairly big one. Is RWED willing to give up that location? They haven't said no to it, but the question is, is there going to be an alternative site for it, and who's going to pay for that."