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Future of Malakwa Community Centre uncertain
The fate of the Malakwa Resource Facility, which includes the Malakwa Community Learning Centre, remains precarious after a Sept. 28 referendum to contribute tax funding to the facility was rejected.
The issue was discussed briefly at the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Oct. 17 meeting, with area director Rhona Martin expressing deep sadness that the motion was not approved.
“A lot of people said they didn’t know, but we advertised in the three papers, I did a mail out, we had it on Facebook. You hear this from all over the province, just how much trouble there can be communicating with the public.”
The referendum gave residents an opportunity to vote on a proposed Columbia Shuswap Regional District bylaw that would have allowed the regional district to enter into a five- to 10- year lease agreement with School District #83 to be responsible for the ongoing maintenance and operation of the former school.
If approved, the bylaw would have required an annual $125,000 contribution through a property value tax levy.
The result was 57 in favour, 152 opposed.
Martin says the group has some funds to keep the facility operational for a short time. The building used to house the Malakwa Elementary School, before it was closed by School District #83, citing low student numbers and the need to trim their budget.
“We will be meeting with the school board next week to look at the situation, said Martin. “We need the school district’s permission if we are going to be able to use the building in any way.”
The regional district has taken the first step towards a development proposal that would see a commercial nursery and garden centre constructed on property near the Shuswap Lake Estates driving range.
While the plans are continuing to evolve, the acceptance of the board means the process will now advance to a consultation stage that includes various provincial ministries, First Nations bands and local area residents.
The proposal would not require any additional access points off the Trans-Canada Highway, as it would utilize the same road access as the Shuswap Fire Hall.
The regional district has updated and renewed its slate of fire chiefs for three-year terms beginning this November. Appointments include Graham Lucas for the Anglemont Fire Department, Roy Phillips for the Celista Fire Department, Troy Ricard for the Falkland Fire Department, Joanne Held for the Malakwa Fire Department, Parker Vaile for the Nicholson Fore Department, Marvin Gros for the Ranchero-Deep Creek Fire Department, Art Stoll for the Scotch Creek-Lee Creek Fire Department, Gary Hoult for the Shuswap Fire Department, Len Sarrazin for the Silver Creek Fire Department, Kyle Schneider for the Tappen-Sunnybrae Fire Department and Brian Griffin for the White Lake Fire Department.