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Council prepares for likely performing arts centre referendum

Proposed performing arts centre.
Image Credit: City of Kamloops
May 06, 2015 - 11:36 AM

KAMLOOPS – The results of the performing arts centre open house have been collated and based on discussion at City Hall Tuesday it looks like a referendum will, most likely, happen by late fall.

While the topic of the centre produced a lively question and answer session in council chambers Tuesday, May 5, the big questions was whether the proposed plan will be changed. Mayor Peter Milobar said there is no choice ‘a’ or ‘b’ on a referendum. There will be only one question.

The performing arts centre, with all the proposed amenities, including the $25 million parkade, will be debated as is. There is no room to choose more or less amenities, or to discuss aspects of the parkade.

This was problematic for Coun. Donovan Cavers, who asked what happens if the centre was voted down based on concerns with the parkade. He said it was his understanding the project, the cost and the rationale behind its size, are responsible for a lot of apprehension related to the whole project.

When Cavers asked questions of the parkade, such as why it featured 350 stalls or why it was two levels, he was told this wasn’t based on research or science, but instead on square footage.

Coun. Denis Walsh teased since a referendum question and a city election were roughly the same price — $130,000 to $160,000 — could we not do both at the same time? The councillor also inquired about the grants the city recently applied for, vis-à-vis the performing arts centre, wondering when more information on these would be available. Staff estimated the city would know if the application of the $10-million cultural grant was successful by mid-summer.

The latest a referendum question can be submitted to Victoria for approval, to ensure a late fall referendum, would be June 12. Therefore, new information regarding the performing arts centre is expected to be shared with council by May 26.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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