November 07, 2015 - 8:36 PM
KAMLOOPS - Despite a strong campaign to encourage residents to say ‘yes’ to a performing arts centre, voters ultimately decided to say ‘no’ during this week’s referendum.
Kamloops residents were asked whether they support the city borrowing $49 million to help build a performing arts centre. Council had already said they supported it and several groups came together to support it as well, but a group saying the city was not ready for that type of debt load, especially without a more detailed plan, apparently spoke more to the public.
PAC Not Yet was a late entry into the campaign compared to the groups which came forward to support the project, but ultimately voters agreed with the PAC Not Yet, turning down the proposed performing arts centre in the referendum.
The proposed arts centre was planned for the corner of Seymour Street and Fourth Avenue, at the former Kamloops Daily News site, and was set to include a 345-stall parkade.
The city bought the property last year shortly after the newspaper shut down. At the time Mayor Peter Milobar said the site could potentially become a performing arts centre, parkade or possibly even a civic building.
Milobar is unsure what the next step will be at this point, noting earlier this week they’d "have to figure it out" if a no vote was the result because the centre cannot be built without borrowing $49 million.
With an estimated cost of just over $90 million, the debt load for the proposed centre would have been $49 million plus interest. That would have equated to a total impact for the average household of about $40 per year, for 20 years.
Image Credit: City of Kamloops
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