April 28, 2016 - 1:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Part of Tournament Capital Ranch is becoming farm land, though there's still space to fill.
City council has approved a lease for 25 hectares of land at the Tournament Capital Ranch to Dhaliwal Green Acre Farms for farming.
While the farms takes up 25 hectares of the land, there are still about 15 to 20 hectares unused, according to parks planning supervisor Mike Doll.
Doll says the Kamloops Exhibition Association uses some land to hold four or five events a year and they would like to expand although there’s no timeline for their developments. There were ideas for a water park as well, but that discussion has disappeared.
“We want the lands to be utilized,” he says. “I can’t emphasize enough there’s a lot of potential out there.”
Doll doesn’t know of any discussions the city is participating in for the remaining land.
Currently the exhibition land, the soon-to-be farms and sports fields occupy the rest of the property with Tk’emlups the Secwepmc land adjacent to it.
Dhaliwal Green Acre Farms will lease the property for at least 10 years, with annual rent of $3,087 and with two possible extensions of five years each.
In response to concerns from Coun. Denis Walsh about the length and rate of the lease, parks and recreation director Byron McCorkell said it was due to the work that will be needed to be done to make the land usable, and obligations from the Agricultural Land Commission.
McCorkell says the proposal from the farmer alleviates the city of any of those concerns in return for the lease price.
"In order to do that there’s a fairly significant cost to them, therefore they wanted an extended period of ten years," he says.
McCorkell says there were only two responses to the city’s request for proposals for the land, and the other one loaded all the costs on to the city.
Work on the farmland will begin this summer, although he isn’t sure if anything will be planted this growing season.
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