To the editor:
The news release April 7 by the B.C. government committing $7 million to purchase the old CN Rail line is nothing more than a bribe in order to get people to vote yes in the upcoming referendum.
A recent poll showed the [April 25] referendum vote split 50-50. Everyone knew this money was coming from the government and they should have announced this the first time when the District of Lake Country tried to sneak the purchase through using the Alternate Process.The City of Kelowna is also giving the District of Lake Country $2.5 million to help pay for their portion to be paid back at a later date. All this is just another bribe to get people to vote yes.
Lake Country councillor Owen Dickie made comments that the shores of Woods Lake will be covered in condos if we don’t buy the railroad. This is nothing more than a scare tactic in order to get people to vote yes. Duane Thompson from the Rails to Trails group said lakeshore property on Woods Lake is worth $15,800 per foot. If that is true you can do the math and see how much it is going to cost to buy the Day property which has 700 feet of shore line.
The District of Lake Country has given the people no choice but to vote no in the referendum by not telling then true costs to buy this railroad. The $27 per year increase in property taxes is a joke. Mayor Baker has already admitted to the media there will be more cost coming after the purchase. He says these cost will come out of general revenue but how can they when the district already has a $10 million debt? Also, the district is $30 million behind in road improvements and not to mention the millions it will cost to upgrade the water quality.
If anyone is interested in finding out some of the extra costs with the purchase of the railroad go to the District of Lake Country website and look for the budget that they will be approving on March 9. Look around in the budget document and you will see some extra costs to purchase the railroad, that are coming out of general revenue. One big one that I noticed was the repairs to the bridge on Evans Road in Oyama ($650,000).
The CN was supposed to do these repairs and now the district will be doing them.
Stuff like this is added costs to the purchase of the railroad.
I urge all Lake Country residents to demand the mayor and council to give us all the correct information or we will be voting no on the referendum.
Ron Volk, Lake Country