October 23, 2015 - 8:00 PM
KAMLOOPS – While the referendum on the plan to build a performing arts centre in Kamloops isn't until Nov. 7, residents can vote in two advance polls, the first one next week.
Advance polls will be held rom 8 a.m. to 8 p.m on Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Monday, Nov. 2 at Heritage House located at 100 Lorne St.
The city will also host an information session on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Parkside Lounge in the Sandman Centre.
The proposed performing arts centre has its fair share of supporters and, recently, a group of detractors.
Representatives from local businesses and associations, including the Kamloops Art Gallery and the Kamloops Symphony, have formed the ‘YES’ campaign as a means to lobby support for the project.
The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association’s Board of Directors donated $2,500 to the ‘YES’ campaign saying the arts centre project aligns with their mandate to promote “business growth and economic development in the central business district.”
Also lending support, a group of Kamloops citizens created the Friends of the Performing Arts Centre. The group says they have no economic interest in the arts but wish only “to see our community flourish and to sit in the audience and enjoy the show.”
The first opposition group, led by former city councillor Nelly Dever, formed this week called PAC Not Yet. The group says they are not against the arts in Kamloops, but think the current proposal does not deserve the community’s support and leaves too many unanswered questions.
The Saturday, Nov. 7 referendum will will ask residents if they are in favour of borrowing $49 million to build a performing arts centre. The referendum is expected to cost $160,000. The proposed centre is a $90 million dollar project, with $25 million slated specifically for a parkade. If built, it will be located at 393 Seymour St., where the former Kamloops Daily News building now sits.
It will be financed through a one percent increase in property taxes in 2016 and an additional one per cent in 2017, which translates into roughly $40 dollars per household per year for 20 years.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015