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

Just Posted

Canadian ski legend gets entire memorial bridge at Big White

Kelowna - The ski bridge was named Jimmie Spencer Memorial Bridge in his honour

On thin ice: Warmer temperatures mean dangerous lake conditions in Kelowna

The Kelowna Fire Department is warning others to stay off the lakes

Kelowna marijuana production expansion proposed near Okanagan Rail Trail

A rezoning application from The Flowr Group will be presented to council today

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sunny days ahead

It’s beginning to feel like spring in Kelowna

Southern Interior worst for animal-related crashes

ICBC stats put the interior at 4,800 incidents in 2017

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

Dutch tram shooting suspect arrested, say police

Police say three people were killed in the shooting Monday and five wounded

B.C. poverty plan combines existing spending, housing programs

Target is to lift 140,000 people out of poverty from 2016 level

Avalanche warning issued for all B.C. mountains

Warm weather to increase avalanche risk: Avalanche Canada

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick retires

Jody Wilson-Raybould has accused Wernick of pressuring her to head off criminal charges for SNC-Lavalin

Reality show filming in South Okanagan is looking for participants

A real estate reality show is looking for homeowners and realtors to participate

Temperature records dating back to 1947 broken in B.C.

The Squamish airport recorded the hottest temperature in the province (and Canada) on Sunday: 21.3 C

Rural home sought for feral cats facing eviction

Critteraid says the Shuswap cats could help keep a property free of rodents

MQN brings Georgie gold home to Okanagan

Vernon architecture and design firm top five finalist in five separate categories

Most Read