To the editor:
From what I have heard and read in the news media, it seems to me the main concern about purchasing the CN Rail corridor relates to the unknown amount of money Lake Country may have to spend in the future for improvements and maintenance of this corridor, if the referendum passes.
Why not simply get rid of that concern?
Word the referendum so it is made very clear that taxpayers are voting for or against borrowing only enough money to purchase the rail corridor. And have it also made very clear that Lake Country is not allowed to spend a penny more on the corridor, now or in the future.
The taxpayers can then vote on borrowing a specific amount of money and not have to worry about Lake Country coming to them in the future with their hand out.
In a way it is rather like a student’s parents saying, OK, we will pay for your university education but you are responsible for any extra money needed and you are to do the work.
If this present concern about the corridor is dealt with, how many of those against the idea now would still be against buying the corridor? If there is no interest in doing any improvements at this time, then just let the corridor sit there. It has sat there for a long time already.
It is human nature that sooner or later a group of people will decide they want to do something and then that is when things will start to happen. People interested in donating their labour and businesses willing to donate materials will make whatever is wanted a reality.
It is also very likely that an association of some sort will come into existence to look after the maintenance of the corridor. There is a lot of satisfaction in taking on a task and doing it instead of having things done for you. Plus, it gives people a sense of ownership of their corridor. And people that feel that way tend to be a bit touchy about those who mistreat their corridor that they worked hard to improve. Another plus.
When the fire of 2003 wiped out more than a few trestles on the Kettle Valley Rail line, an association of some sort was formed, volunteers and businesses came forward and the job got done. And it wasn’t just one or two trestles that got rebuilt it was many. A far more daunting task than what Lake Country faces with the corridor.
I wish you much success in purchasing the corridor. You will never get a second chance. And anyway, who would want to have grandchildren who believe grandma and grandpa had to be absolutely senile to not have purchased the corridor? And could you blame them?
Bruce R. Brown, Kelowna