Alternative Approval Process delayed due to provincial government

Expected to move forward at council last night, Lake Country could not discuss the move to the AAP due to government delay

Lake Country’s process to possibly purchase a rail corridor has been delayed.

Because the provincial government has not signed off on wording, council could not adopt a loan authorization bylaw Tuesday to borrow up to $2.6 million to fund the purchase of 50 per cent of the discontinued CN rail line within the municipality.

“They (Victoria) have had it for about three weeks and our staff are making phone calls on the time frame,” said Mayor James Baker.

“They have been told a day or so but it hasn’t been a day or so. It shouldn’t have taken this long.”

It’s expected that adoption of the bylaw could occur sometime this week or next.

Once that occurs, the alternate approval process can begin a week or so later, once Lake Country has properly advertised it.

If more than 10 per cent of voters sign a petition in opposition, 20-year borrowing cannot proceed.

Elector response forms will be available online and at municipal office and may be submitted by eligible voters in Lake Country.

Open houses are also being planned in both Winfield and Oyama however the dates on those cannot be set until the process begins.

Resident Roger Bailey spoke at Lake Country council last night against the project, even though council did not deal with the AAP.

“We’re moving ahead with this process before we have had any process open to the public to discuss what is going to happen if we do purchase it,” said Bailey. “This presents a number of issues for people along that right of way.”

If borrowing proceeds, the average residential dwelling valued at $475,000 in Lake Country would see a tax increase of about $27 per year.

The negotiated price tag for the rail corridor is $22 million with Kelowna and the Regional District of North Okanagan also participating financially.