CAPITAL DEPARTMENT – GŪKǬ́Ā GŪTIE GŪ́LḖĪ DEGE KḖNGĪ́HDÉL (THEY ARE WORKING SO OUR HOMES ARE GOOD)
The Liard First Nation (LFN) Capital Department oversees and manages three major areas of responsibility, as well as the Operations & Maintenance Infrastructure Services, which are funded separately from Capital.
INAC (Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada) provides Capital “A Base” Funding for approved projects that are located within the boundaries of LFN’s land set aside. Because LFN is not self-governing, certain Capital projects that are approved by the First Nation must still return to INAC for final funding approval.
Please Note: LFN Capital can only access INAC funding to support on-community, LFN-owned housing and buildings.
LFN houses (including multiple unit dwellings) are 100% rental properties. LFN members who own their own homes and do not live on-community cannot access Capital program funds for home renovations and repairs, and are asked to seek other options such as bank loans.
The Capital Department responsibilities fall within three primary areas:
1) Planning Services for LFN Properties
- Plan and oversee new rental home construction and renovation projects.
- Manage home repair services for LFN rental units.
- Plan and oversee new community building construction and renovation projects.
- Manage repair services for LFN community buildings.
2) Infrastructure Development and Asset Protection for LFN Properties
- Manages funding for approved infrastructure development and asset protection projects for Liard First Nation’s residential and community properties.
- Includes lot clearing and site preparation (i.e. trenching) to allow for installation of electrical and phone service, water and septic systems.
3) Special Projects:
- Project planning and management for Special Projects relating to the First Nation’s community or residential buildings and civic infrastructure, including roads, water and septic systems.
- The Liard First Nation Water Treatment Plant and Two Mile Lake Gathering Site are two examples of community infrastructure that were managed as Special Projects by the Capital Department.
The LFN Capital Department provides planning services for new rental home construction, renovations and repairs for the First Nation’s residential homes and community buildings.
Once these plans are approved by either Chief & Council or the Housing Committee, they are entered into what is called a PIF (Project Information Form) and sent to INAC for final approval.
ABOUT HOME RENOVATIONS AND REPAIRS
The Capital Department provides planning and oversight services for renovations and repairs to the First Nation’s rental units. Renovations are generally outsourced to qualified contractors whereas the “O&M” crew does minor repairs.
Renovations to LFN residential rental units are planned well in advance. Renovation projects are included and budgeted for in the Department’s annual plan.
Planning for renovation projects that will be included in the following fiscal year’s budget begins in the fall. For example, if your LFN rental home will need a renovation or major repair in 2019, be sure to apply for funding in 2018.
APPLICATION PROCESS: RENOVATIONS AND REPAIRS
Open call is issued for renovation applications from tenants.
Capital Department visits the units to:
- determine the scope of the renovation project; and
- take photographs of the affected area(s) of the rental unit.
The candidate renovation projects are prioritized according to the following criteria:
- Health and Safety
- Decaying parts or rot (i.e. landings)
- Holes in Floor (from regular wear and tear)
- Water and Sewer
- Electrical problems
- Protection of Assets
- Leaking roof, plumbing leaks
- Basement walls rotting
- Any structural damage
Health and Safety Improvements
- Wheelchair access
- Grab bars for the bathroom
- Install eavestroughs
- Growth needs (growing family/assuming care of an Elder)
- Replacement of old infrastructure vs. repairs
- Tenant in good standing (rent is paid, upholding their tenant responsibilities)
- Number of years since the last renovation
The Capital Department forwards all potential renovations to the housing committee and Chief & Council for review and the highest ranked renovations are selected to be included in the upcoming fiscal year budget.
Proposals are received from contractors and a contractor is selected. Once the work is complete, the Capital Department takes pictures of the completed work for reporting purposes.
Any outstanding eligible renovation projects are placed on a waitlist to be completed the following fiscal year.
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AND ASSET PROTECTION
The Capital Department manages funds for approved infrastructure development and asset protection projects for Liard First Nation.
- Posting notices for contractors to bid on these projects;
- overseeing the tendering process;
- awarding of contracts for these projects; and,
- project management to ensure quality workmanship is maintained.
Quality control and project monitoring are maintained by regular inspections and clear progress markers that must be met before the contractor’s invoices will be paid.
The Capital Department oversees Special Projects that create or improve LFN’s community or residential buildings and civic infrastructure including roads, water, and septic systems. Special Projects may be fully funded without INAC.
For example, the construction of the Two Mile Lake Gathering Site was a Special Project managed by the Capital Department and funded entirely from Liard First Nation’s own-source revenues.
The Capital Department crews cleared the land and built an access road to the site from the highway. Then, they cleared trees and brush to create drive-up campsites and a parking area for the main site. Finally, they cleared the area closest to the lake to allow for the construction of outbuildings for community gatherings.
Capital also oversaw the hiring of contractors and workers to prepare the building site; install holding tanks for a septic system; build and install outbuildings; and provide landscaping services.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES
Under separate funding from the Capital responsibilities, the Capital Department oversees services related to the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of Liard First Nation’s municipal infrastructure, including;
- Electrical Services
- Fire Protection
- Roads & Bridges
- Community Buildings; and
- Solid Waste Removal.
O&M is considered an essential service by INAC, and funded quarterly starting on April 1 every fiscal year.
O&M is also responsible for these services within the five LFN communities:
- Electrical – LFN pays the expense for street lights within our community
- Fire Protection – chimney cleaning and fire extinguisher inspection
- Sanitation – janitor services for community buildings and septic pump outs
- Water – expenses to maintain the Water Treatment Facility; water deliveries for LFN community buildings and residential properties
- Roads & Bridges – road maintenance and repairs; snow removal for roads and on residential lots to allow access to water and fuel deliveries; garbage removal; and emergency access
- Community Buildings – repair & maintenance; heating fuel expenses; utilities
- Solid Waste – household garbage removal.