A draft rendering of what a public campground located on the former Waterway Houseboats property could look like. (District of Sicamous Image)

Sicamous plans to buy former Waterway Houseboats property, build campground

Purchase price of $2 million negotiated with receiver who took over this summer

A $2 million offer by the District of Sicamous’ development corporation for the former Waterway Houseboats site has been approved by the receiver in control of the now defunct company’s assets.

The purchase is for the 16.33 acre parcel of land located at 1 Mervyn Road on Mara Lake, including its docks and floating buildings. As recently as Nov. 8, the land had been advertised for sale for $ 4,495,000.

The district’s stated intent is to develop the property into a recreation area, including a public beach, park, boat launch and 75 RV and camp sites.

Mayor Terry Rysz said approximately two acres of the property will be reserved for a public park.

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A release from the District of Sicamous Development Corporation (DOSDC) states converting the land into a beach, park and campground will have a very low impact on the environment, but completion of an environmental assessment remains a condition of the sale. The approval of financing and the completion of a business case are also conditions of the sale.

Rysz said there will be no additional cost to taxpayers for the purchase of the property as revenue from the campgrounds would be used to pay down the debt. He said projections indicate the completed campsite could generate between $500,000 and $600,000 per year.

The DOSDC can abandon their purchase and get its $100,000 deposit back at any time before Jan. 9, 2020, if it is felt the conditions cannot be met.

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As the property is in receivership, the sale of the property will go before the Supreme Court of B.C. for approval on Jan. 30, 2020, with the sale closing no later than Feb. 28.

Rysz said once the purchase goes through, construction on campsites can begin immediately. He said it is hoped that 50 of the sites can be in operation next year by May or June.

The district is accepting feedback on the project on their website www.sicamous.ca/futuredevelopment.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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