Pitch made for rail trail governance

Businessman wants firm structure to manage and market corridor from Coldstream to Kelowna

Local politicians are being warned that simply opening up the Okanagan Rail Trail isn’t enough.

Alan Gatzke, an Oyama businessperson, told the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee Thursday that a governance model is needed to operate and market the recreational corridor from Coldstream to Kelowna.

“All of us are in this together and all of us want the trail to be as much as it can be,” he said.

“There’s a vacuum in governance moving forward.”

Based on observations of New Zealand’s trail networks, Gatzke is suggesting a not-for-profit society be formed locally.

“It creates the foundation for branding, marketing, economic development and tourism opportunities while sustaining and improving the trail,” said the former Lake Country councillor.

“It improves communication between operators, users, the public and government.”

Gatzke is concerned that the jurisdictions that purchased the corridor are veering off in different directions, including Kelowna closing off the trail until it is developed while Lake Country and the Regional District of North Okanagan are letting it be used.

“There are inconsistencies,” he said.

“Without some cohesive governance model in place, there will be public confusion. It’s important that the trail be named and that name be registered.”

After hearing from Gatzke, GVAC members admitted that his concept needs further consideration.

“We have a raw product and we have to determine what we do with it. This gives us a lot of food for thought,” said Catherine Lord, director.

“What you’re suggesting is it’s more than a trail, it’s marketing. What’s our role in that?” added director Mike Macnabb.

RDNO will be meeting with Kelowna, Lake Country and the Okanagan Indian Band to discuss corridor issues, but Juliette Cunningham, GVAC chairperson, says another partner must also be involved in the process.

“We have to give the public an opportunity for their vision,” she said.

Just Posted

Veterans honoured at Lake Country Remembrance Day ceremony

Remembrance day event in Lake Country was one of five ceremonies that took place across Central Okanagan

Hundreds attend downtown Kelowna Remembrance Day Ceremony

People gathered to pay respect to 240 Kelowna residents and two million Canadians who have served /or are serving

Five Remembrance Day ceremonies getting underway across Central Okanagan

Hundreds anticipated to attend ceremonies in West Kelowna, Kelowna, Peachland, Rutland and Lake Country

Mother and child reportedly trapped inside vehicle in Kelowna collision

Two vehicles collided at Harvey and Burtch intersection

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Coquihalla, Okanagan Connector drivers cautioned due to freezing rain

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Summerland council considers change to meeting schedule

Proposal calls for afternoon session and 6 p.m. evening session for regular meetings

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read