Trans-Mountain pipeline camp near Merritt wants to serve alcohol | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Trans-Mountain pipeline camp near Merritt wants to serve alcohol

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A company operating a temporary work camp for pipeline workers near Merritt is applying for a liquor permit.

According to a letter sent to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District by Civeo Canada LP, the worksite will prohibit alcohol on site, outside of the lounge. Within the lounge, workers will have a two drink limit.

As long as health restrictions allow, the lounge will be built to seat around 288 workers, but no patio extensions are planned.

Ryan Wuthe, acting chair for the Merritt Chamber of Commerce, said he had not yet heard concerns from local business owners, however, he expects that those in the "already struggling hospitality community" will speak up with concerns that a lounge at the temporary work site will take away potential customers.

Last year, a liquor licence was eventually approved for a work camp near Clearwater.

Mayor of Clearwater and regional district board member, Merlin Blackwell, said the debate centred around both business and health concerns.

He said there was opposition from local business groups, but it was deemed to be beneficial for the health of the public to allow the work camp to serve alcohol and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The temporary work camp near Merritt is located at 3802 Ranchland Road.

According to the regional district board report, any noise-related issues are negligible due to its location on agricultural land outside about 3 km east of Merritt on Ranchland Road.

Alcohol would be served at the lounge between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Sundays, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

A virtual public hearing on the subject is scheduled for Thursday, May 13, at 1:30 p.m.

See here for more details on the public hearing process and the proposal to the regional district.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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