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Kelowna to hold two open houses on electric utility deal

The City of Kelowna will host two open houses for city electrical utility customers and Kelowna residents to learn more about the its plan to sell off the assets of its electric utility and invest the proceeds.

The two identical open houses will be held at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott at 1655 Powick Road on Tuesday, Sept. 25 and Thursday, Sept. 27 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. A presentation will be given at 5 p.m. on both nights; however, the same information will be available at any time during the open houses, say city officials.

Representatives of FortisBC and the City of Kelowna will be on hand to explain the plan and answer questions about the restructuring.

The restructuring deal, which still need regulatory aproval, proposes to shift the city from its current status as electrical utility owner to electrical utility investor. It will result in the city selling its electrical utility assets to FortisBC for $55 million, then using the proceeds to purchase, with the approval of the Inspector of Municipalities, common shares in Fortis Inc., FortisBC's parent company.  If necessary or desirable, the city may use some of the money to buy other, municipally-eligible investments.

The proposed deal requires the approval of Kelowna's electors and the city is using the alternative approval process to get that approval. The process puts the onus on opponents to gather signatures from 10 per cent of all city voters within 30 days if they want to force the city to hold a vote on the deal. Opponents have have until Oct. 26 to register any opposition to the proposed sale.

For more information on the deal, the alternative approval process, a third-party review the city ordered and to review some frequently asked questions, visit kelowna.ca/cityprojects.

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