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

Four-hour wait time to book child’s COVID test concerns Kelowna parent

Interior Health is asking for patience as they experience an increase in calls and testing requests

Attorney General defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

‘Perfect storm’ causes influx of black widows in the Okanagan

The region’s only venomous spider has come out in full force this year

A Gardener’s Diary: How to make green tomato pickles

Gardening columnist Jocelyne Sewell looks at how to use up all those ripened tomatoes as the season shifts

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Suspected human remains found in burned out vehicle on OKIB land

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP hand over investigation to Major Crimes

Kamloops RCMP search for armed robber of pizza restaurant

The incident unfolded on Monday evening at the Sahali Domino’s store

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Most Read