RDCK votes to hold referendum on over-$32-mill upgrades to Complex
At its meeting yesterday, the Board of Directors of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) considered two bylaws pertaining to the proposed “Option B” enhancements to the Castlegar and District Community Complex. The bylaws were prepared to establish a new recreation service to replace the two existing services and encompass the proposed facility enhancements, and to start the process to authorize the borrowing of $32,370,000 in building costs.
Both bylaws passed third reading, which means they can proceed to provincial approval prior to a public process to seek voter approval by means of assent voting, or referendum. The RDCK Board resolved that the referendum be decided on an area by area basis within the proposed service area.
“Thanks to input from the public through the Recreation Master Planning process, the most recent survey and via other consultations, we are confident that the majority of the community as a whole supports the Option B enhancements to the Complex, which would provide exceptional value to residents and visitors to the area,” said Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, Chair of the Castlegar and District Recreation Commission. “We also know that opinions can differ between communities, and we respect that.
“Although the commission would have preferred to go to a referendum on an overall basis—since we feel strongly that the enhancements benefit everyone—we look forward to all community members engaging in the democratic process and hopefully supporting the project.”
Timing of the referendum is still being determined, although it is projected to be held prior to summer 2018. Residents of Castlegar and Areas I and J who are eligible to vote will be advised of the timing and the process soon.
In 2015, the Commission embarked on a master planning process for the provision of recreational services and facilities into the future. According to the Recreation Master Plan survey, 81 per cent of area residents have used some portion of the Complex in the previous year. Findings from the Master Plan process showed that the community wanted improvements to the Complex, and provided insight for the Commission to move forward on a public consultation process.
The most recent element of public consultation was the December 2017 resident survey on whether or not the community would support Option B enhancements if asked in a referendum. Results showed that 62 per cent of respondents would support Option B, and 38% would not. The estimated building cost of Option B enhancements would be $32,370,000. Other sources of funding beyond residential taxation would be pursued in order to decrease the maximum impact of borrowing on individual households.
For more information about the project and Option B enhancements, please visit http://myactivityhub.ca.
The Build Your Own Activity Hub is an initiative of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), in partnership with RC Strategies+PERC and HCMA Architecture + Design.