Regional District of North Okanagan directors have approved a temporary borrowing bylaw for $2.3 million for its share to purchase the abandoned CP Rail line from Spallumcheen to Sicamous. ( Wright photo)

Rail trail purchase proceeds

RDNO to borrow $2.3 million to pay for CP Rail corridor purchase from Spallumcheen to Sicamous

A second rail trail initiative for the North Okanagan has moved a step closer.

Regional District of North Okanagan directors voted unanimously Wednesday to approve and adopt a temporary borrowing bylaw for its share to purchase the abandoned CP Rail corridor between Spallumcheen and Sicamous.

The RDNO portion of the $6.5 million purchase fee, shared between province and Columbia Shuswap Regional District, is $2.3 million.

“The closing date for the purchase is December 15, and it’s on this date we are required to pay our share of the money,” said RDNO board chairperson Bob Fleming.

The Splatsin Band also owns parts of the line, and has been working collaboratively with the regional districts.

The temporary borrowing bylaw allows the regional district to borrow funds from the Municipal Finance Authority in advance of receiving proceeds from the long-term debt issue which is anticipated in the spring.

Temporary borrowing must be repaid once the proceeds from the long-term debt have been received.

Fleming, meanwhile, announced that he’ll meet with the mayors of Vernon, Coldstream, Lake Country and Kelowna on Nov. 24 to discuss issues around the Okanagan Rail Trail from Coldstream to Kelowna.

“These include all areas of common interest including governance, common standards for maintenance, commercial development around the trail and any other issues the partners feel may be important,” said Fleming. “It’s my hope we at least create a format to allow for open communications amongst the partners.”

The meeting is slated to be held at a Vernon hotel.

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