Lake Country: Referendum is residents’ chance to shape community

With CN Rail corridor referendum Saturday, its time for residents to have their say after pitches from yes and no side

One of the biggest decisions in the history of Lake Country will be made on Saturday, 20 years after the small community incorporated as its own municipality.

Residents will vote tomorrow on whether to allow the district to borrow $2.6 million to become a partner in the purchase of the CN Rail corridor running from Kelowna, through Lake Country, to Vernon.

“Borrowing to participate as a funding partner to acquire this significant land asset in our jurisdiction is our community’s best chance to retain control over the use of the corridor, as well as the surplus lands for all citizens of Lake Country,” said Mayor James Baker.

Baker said borrowing the $2.6 million won’t change the way Lake Country goes about its business

All other community priorities will be funded as required, regardless of the financial commitment to the CN corridor lands, he said.

“We see great value in protecting the corridor for use as a public right-of-way that would benefit residents of Lake Country for generations,” said Michael Mercer, director of engineering and environmental services. “Once the discontinuance process has concluded, and assuming public ownership is achieved, local governments will establish construction and operation agreements; determine future costs and other considerations as part of protecting the rail corridor for future generations.”

The move to borrow the funds has been a hot topic in Lake Country as residents have expressed concern with the unknown future costs of the purchase while proponents and the district say taxpayers won’t be asked for more money to develop the corridor.

In the end it will be up to voters to have the final say and turnout at five advance polls have already seen more people out to vote than in the 2014 municipal election.

“Lake Country electors will have the final say in Lake Country’s involvement with the acquisition project,” said Mayor Baker.  “I encourage every citizen to make the effort to get the facts about the project and make sure they have a say in this historic decision.”

Residents will have a final opportunity to cast their ballot for the Lake Country Okanagan Rail Corridor borrowing bylaw Referendum on Saturday, April 25 at George Elliot Secondary School, Community Gym, with the polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Results of the referendum are expected to be made public by late Saturday night and will be posted here as soon as they are released

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Teen snowmobiler missing near Kelowna

Police were informed that the teen had gone missing just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Kelowna Rockets blow 4-goal lead in overtime loss to Calgary

Captain Nolan Foote made a brief return as Kelowna drops Family Day matinee 6-5

Lake Country singer advances to Top 25 in Okanagan’s Got Talent

Payton Bischoff will be performing on Feb. 23 in Vernon

Soccer legend Bob Lenarduzzi to speak about dementia in Kelowna

Lenarduzzi will speak at the inaugural Breakfast to Remember on Mar. 10

Kelowna RCMP arrest alleged impaired driver

The driver is facing potential charges after power pole collision

Kelowna’s Family YMCA opens doors on Family Day

The entire day was free for the community

Morning Start: Canadian Rocky Mountain healing waters

Your morning start for Tuesday, February 18, 2020

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship ‘expected’ to depart Japan on Thursday

Canadians seeking to return to home by commercial means will be subject to the Quarantine Act

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

South Okanagan woman reflects on prestigious win at Westminster dog show

“Polly” the Scottish deerhound was crowned best in breed and reserve best hound.

Most Read