Lake Country to jump on rail corridor purchase if no vote fails | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Lake Country to jump on rail corridor purchase if no vote fails

Lake Country will move quickly to complete the purchase of the CN Rail corridor, if the alternative approval process succeeds.
February 04, 2015 - 7:22 PM

KELOWNA — Lake Country will move ahead quickly with the purchase of its portion of the CN Rail corridor should the alternative approval process succeed, a prospect that seems increasingly likely.

“If we’re good and we don’t reach the 931 by noon on Feb. 23 then hopefully we would have a special council meeting on Feb. 24,” said District of Lake Country corporate services manager Reyna Seabrook.

Under the rules of the alternative approval process, 10 per cent of eligible Lake Country voters must submit a counter petition — in this case 931. Seabrook said 126 petitions were received as of Wednesday. Feb. 4, although she refused to count the no side as out.

“That’s completely unknown. You never can tell,” she said. “They had a great turnout at the open houses, lots of forms have gone out, you could see a flurry at the end. It all depends on what’s happening in the community.”

Lake Country is participating with Kelowna, Coldstream and Vernon in the shared purchase of the CN Rail corridor, which the company is decommissioning after sub-leasee Kelowna Pacific Railway went under last year.

CN Rail has agreed to sell the railroad right-of-way to the communities for $50 million, of which $28 million is in the form of a charitable donation tax receipt. The balance is split between the three communities based on the amount of land within their boundaries. Lake Country’s share is $5.1 million, half of which council plans to borrow given the approval of voters.

Eligible Lake Country voters have until noon, Feb. 23 to present a completed counter petition at the Lake Country municipal hall.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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