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Fort Simpson on the up


As spring thaws the North, activity tends to pick up. In Fort Simpson, there might be more activity than has been seen for a while.

Mayor Darlene Sibbeston says the Village of Fort Simpson’s main priorities right now are capital projects.

Fort Simpson Mayor Darlene Sibbeston: village is continuing infrastructure project.

This year, the village is continuing an infrastructure project it began last year to fix up Antoine Drive, which runs close to the length of the community. Last year, the village ran new water and sewer pipes along the road and this year it aims to chipseal.

“It would have been futile to just lay chipseal on the road and then, you know, like two, three, four months later have a water break and dig it up,” says Sibbeston.

As well, the village is looking to utilize unused space in the building that houses its swimming pool to set up a fitness centre.

While Sibbeston says the village is hoping construction will start this year on that, a firm date has not yet been set.

Sibbeston says Simpson has seen some increased bustle from work beginning on Enbridge’s $53 million, 2.5-km pipeline-section replacement.

“(We’re) where the affected line is,” says Sibbeston. “It’s about two or three clicks outside of the community, right? So they have to delegate the work here.”

She says the Liidlii Kue First Nation’s development arm has been contracted to do a lot of the work, which will be subcontracted locally.

“There’s quite a bit of local hires with that,” says Sibbeston.

As well, the community’s bed-and-breakfasts have seen more business, as have local stores.

Sibbeston keeps the village updated on the happenings of village council through posts on the Fort-Simpson-Bulletin group on Facebook.

One of her latest posts details the fire department’s search for land on which they’ll put a new training ground for firefighters.

As well, the fire department is requesting a new fire truck. While their request suggested getting a used truck at an auction, village council is looking into buying one new, through a qualified dealer, so that it’s guaranteed to be covered by warranty.