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Gary Dahlseide and Noel Gordon, employees of Inuvik Gas, install a meter at a customer's location. The town of Inuvik is looking at purchasing 25 per cent of Inuvik Gas. - photo courtesy of Inuvik Gas

Exploring options

Stephan Burnett
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Jan 31/05) - The Town of Inuvik is considering purchasing 25 per cent of Inuvik Gas - the community's utility provider.

An agreement signed in 1999 provided an option to the town to purchase up to 25 per cent of the company, said Jerry Veltman, senior administrative officer with the Town of Inuvik.

"We have advised them that we want to explore that option and that's basically where it's at this moment," he said.

The buy-in provision came about as a result of a franchise agreement signed by the town.

This allowed the utility company to put gas lines into Inuvik and start selling gas to residents, confirmed both he and Ken Jacobsen, general manager of Inuvik Gas.

Discussions between the two sides have been ongoing since August with both parties looking at the next steps being taken. Inuvik Gas has three shareholders, AltaGas Services, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and Enbridge Inc.

"Like any other purchase you have to have it evaluated," said Jacobsen, adding the value of 25 per cent of Inuvik Gas is presently being determined by the town.

"You have an outside source come in and check our books," he said. "We've indicated we would provide information."

Jacobsen added, once the town arrives at a price that is still not a promise the deal will go through.

"Once they look at it they might decide, 'This is not for us,'" he said.

"On the other hand, they might say that it is."