Petition falls 86 names short

By not speaking up, Salmon Arm residents have given the OK to city council to proceed with a 10-year lease agreement related to the potential construction of a Ross Street underpass.

Last Wednesday, the official results were released from the recent alternative approval process to determine whether or not council can go ahead with leasing the lots at 621 and 641 Ross St. NE (adjacent to the railway tracks) at a cost of $33,000 per year. According to city corporate officer Corey Paiement, 1,275 electoral responses were received opposing the lease. This falls 86 short of the 1,361 responses legally required.

“The elector responses received do not meet the minimum sufficiency requirements prescribed in Section 86 of the Community Charter to preclude council from executing the lease agreement… Therefore, council is in a legal position to execute the lease agreement,” stated Paiement.

Prior to Paiement’s certification of results, city administrator Carl Bannister had reported an unofficial total of 1,325 electoral responses having been received, but added several would be disqualified for not meeting stated criteria.

As part of the lease agreement with WH Laird Holdings Ltd. owned by Bill Laird, the city will acquire a road dedication through a lot between Shuswap Park Mall and the CP Rail station.

The city intends to use the leased lots for parking “or some other public use, including as a staging area for the construction of the Ross Street underpass,” estimated by city staff to cost between $7 and 9 million.


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