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Do you agree with borrowing $2.3 million for the North Okanagan-Shuswap Rail Trail?

A section of the North Okanagan-Shuswap Rail Trail.
Image Credit: Regional District of North Okanagan
June 06, 2017 - 4:34 PM

NORTH OKANAGAN - If you think borrowing $2.3 million for a rail trail between Armstrong and Sicamous is a great idea, then all you have to do is sit back and thank your government officials for jumping on the chance to buy it.

But if you disagree, you’ll need to let the North Okanagan Regional District know. It’s all part of what’s called an Alternate Approval Process — in this case, the chosen avenue for getting taxpayer permission to borrow the money.

If 10 per cent of registered voters formally oppose the borrowing, the regional district will instead have to put the question to a referendum. The Alternate Approval Process saves the time and money associated with a referendum.

In the North Okanagan-Shuswap Rail Trail Service area, 1,658 of the 16,588 qualified electors would have to oppose the process.

Only electors in Armstrong, Enderby, Lumby, Spallumcheen and electoral areas D and F are eligible.

Anyone opposed must send in an Elector Response Form no later than 4 p.m. Monday, July 17.

The corridor would provide a continues recreational corridor from Armstrong, through the communities of Spallumcheen and Enderby, all the way to Sicamous. The provincial government has already committed $2.17 million to the project.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 50: number of kilometres on the rail corridor, which goes from Armstrong to Sicamous.
  • 7: number of kilometres already acquired by the Splatsin First Nation
  • $6.5 million: Total price tag to buy the corridor from CP Rail. The cost is being split three ways between the provincial government, the North Okanagan Regional District and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
  • 2009: Year that railway operations ceased on the line
  • 20: Number of years the regional district proposes it will take to pay back the loan
  • $2.3 million: Total amount the regional district would be authorized to borrow (includes the $2.17 million share of the overall purchase price, plus insurance)
  • $12: Estimated cost per household per year for 20 years (based on average property assessed at $294,000)
  • $75,000: Cost of a referendum

The regional district has put together a number of helpful resources for voters:

Read up on past stories about the rail corridor here.

A map of the rail corridor.
A map of the rail corridor.
Image Credit: Regional District of North Okanagan

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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