To the editor:
Lake country is a small community with a limited budget and the ever present challenge of how to spend local tax dollars wisely and satisfy the needs of all communities within the Lake Country district. How does the rail trail purchase proposal fit into our current fiscal plan? How will it impact other critical projects and needed local improvements?
Does Lake Country really need two trail corridors? Perhaps we’ve forgotten the recently acquired Pelmewash Parkway which departs Highway 97 at the north end of Winfield to become a lake shore recreation roadway that extends along the west side of Woods Lake to Oyama and continues along Kalamalka Lake to the northern edge of Lake Country District where it merges back into the Highway. Work is needed to upgrade this new area, but is this not intended as a potential tourist corridor for recreation—swimming, boating, hiking, biking.
This is an asset we already own. Can’t this be incorporated as an alternate part of a connecting corridor between Kelowna and Vernon? If so, then perhaps we could buy the southern district portion of the CNR lands and save a great deal of money by integrating the northern part of the rail trail into Pelmewash Parkway. This option would allow a resident friendly compromise, where private residents along the shores of both of these Lakes could directly purchase their own piece of the CN Rail corridor that currently divides their properties. They win and the District wins. This private purchase would reduce the Lake Country capital cost of buying the whole corridor and create an immediate new tax base for the district on this newly purchased private land.
There are many unanswered questions about the current proposal and any number of other good options that might be brought to light through community discussion.
Don Maxwell, Oyama and Vancouver