Another step has been taken to develop a Rail Trail North.
The Board of Directors of the Regional District of North Okanagan has authorized the execution of a Conditional Purchase and Sale Contract for 43 kilometres of the CP Rail corridor that runs from Sicamous and Armstrong.
There are still some examinations of the property to be conducted, but RDNO Board Chair Bob Fleming is cautiously optimistic.
He says the next step will be an Alternative Approval Process to allow the District the authority to establish a North Okanagan/Shuswap Rail Trail Service and borrow the 2.17 million dollars to finalize the purchase.
Repayment of the RDNO’s loan is proposed over twenty years, so it is estimated that the total annual payment will be $159,000 a year based on an interest rate of 3.5%.
Voting information on AAP will be available next month.
Total cost of the project is six and a half million dollars.
The RDNO, Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the Provincial Government will split the cost equally.
The CSRD has proposed to fund $1,838,384 from borrowing, with the remaining portions coming from the Sicamous/Area “E” Economic Opportunity Fund ($250,000), and a the Revelstoke/Area “B” Economic Opportunity Fund ($100,000).
“This opportunity is a great fit for funding from the Economic Opportunity Funds,” says CSRD Chair Rhona Martin.
“We expect that this corridor will result in some significant Tourism revenue.” The proposed CSRD service area includes the City of Salmon Arm, the District of Sicamous, and CSRD electoral areas “E,” “D,” “C,” and “F.”
The land acquisition is also being done in conjunction with the Splatsin First Nation which has already acquired seven kilometres of the corridor.