June 06, 2015 - 1:10 PM
ENDERBY - Local governments and First Nations will work together to acquire a discontinued rail corridor stretching from Armstrong to Sicamous.
The North Okanagan Regional District, Columbia Shuswap Regional District and Splatsin Band have formalized their partnership with a Memorandum of Understanding, an important step in pursuing the land deal.
“It brings us together as governments so there will be one voice speaking to CP Rail,” Splatsin Chief Wayne Christian says.
The band has already obtained 29 acres of the line, which was shut down in 2009, but is now going after the remaining portions with hopes of keeing the entire corridor intact.
The joint venture will promote communication and strengthen relationships between communities and residents, Christian says, adding local governments need to work together to “invest in the region for all our people and our collective future.”
He says the band and regional districts share a common vision of a recreational greenway, although there are still many details to work out. Right now, the focus is on negotiating the sale, and the next step is nailing down an asking price from CP Rail.
North Okanagan Regional District chair Rick Fairbairn believes the initiative will set the stage for future partnerships.
“The opportunity to collaborate with the Splatsin and the (Columbia Shuswap Regional District) on such an important regional initiative also opens the door for all three jurisdictions to work on future joint efforts,” Fairbairn says.
The Citizens for an Okanagan Rail Trail have been actively advocating for a recreational path from Vernon to Kelowna in tandem with the Shuswap Trail Alliance’s push for the same between Armstrong and Sicamous.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015