CSRD to seek voter approval to borrow $1.77 million for park land

Regional district advances plans to purchase Centennial Field for $2.75 million

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board voted to take the next steps towards the creation of another community park for the South Shuswap.

In order to do so, the CSRD board advanced a plan to purchase the 9.5 acre property in Blind Bay known as Centennial Field for $2.75 million.

The field, comprised of two parcels of land located at 2690 Centennial Dr. and 2546 Blind Bay Rd., are owned by Shuswap Lake Estates Ltd. and Shuswap West Developments Ltd.

Consent from voters in the CSRD’s Electoral Area C is required to borrow $1,770,000 required to fund the land purchase. An alternative approval process (AAP) was endorsed by the board as the method for obtaining the consent of voters. Under the AAP, 10 per cent of Area C voters would have to make a formal petition opposing the proposed borrowing in order to stop it from going forward. According to the CSRD, if that 10 per cent of voters is opposed, the borrowing would not be able to proceed without holding a referendum.

Read More: Mudslides expected to keep Seymour Arm road closed for at least three days

Read More: Bold, brave and intriguing theatre lined up for Edge festival

Bylaws will be submitted to the Provincial Inspector of Municipalities for authorization to proceed with the alternative approval process. Authorization can take up to six weeks and, once it is received, the matter will return to the CSRD board to set the details and timeline of the AAP.

According to the CSRD, paying off the loan will cost the owners of the average residential property in Area C $48 per year based on a 25-year loan.

Regional district staff had recommended borrowing $2,025,000 to purchase the land for the park, but the board decided to use $1 million from the Area C Park Land Acquisition Reserve to keep the loan smaller. The reserve will have $100,000 remaining if it is depleted to purchase Centennial Field.

Read More: Disaster relief: four tips for coping with wildfires, smoky skies

Read More: Help needed on restoration of historical cabin in the Shuswap

The board’s decision to opt for the less expensive loan was led by Area C Director Paul Demenok. Demenok questioned what the parks acquisition reserve is being kept for if no other acquisitions have been planned. He also noted that uncertainty created by the possibility of the incorporation of Sorrento and Blind Bay into a municipality or the division of Area C into two electoral areas played a role in his preference for the cheaper loan.

“This will be a terrific enhancement for the South Shuswap, as a regional community park in Blind Bay was clearly identified to be the number one issue in the recently approved Area C Parks Plan,” Demenok said.

He noted many people assume Centennial Field is already a CSRD park because of the Music in the Bay and Canada Day programs which use the space. He said he anticipates grants from senior levels of government could be used to fund improvements to the park.

The CSRD has pledged to work with a landscape architect to develop the park if the purchase goes through; they say this process will involve plenty of consultation with the public.

According to the CSRD, a professional appraisal of the property valued the land at $2,006,000. The appraiser noted that arriving at an accurate market value was difficult because there are no properties in the region with a similar size and features to compare it to.

The results of the AAP are expected to be reported to the CSRD board at its September or October meeting.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: Coldstream producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

Column: Keeping distance, working together and readying for rebound

Council Report by Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Shuswap food bank gives away three months of food in one week

High demand in face of COVID-19, Eagle Valley Community Support Society appeals for donations

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Okanagan woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Vernon’s Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read