Castlegar Complex enhancements proceeding to referendum

Castlegar Complex enhancements proceeding to referendum

Enhancements to the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex will proceed to referendum.

Enhancements to the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex will proceed to a referendum after a vote by the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s board of directors.

On Thursday, Feb. 15 the board passed third reading on two bylaws pertaining to the proposed “Option B” enhancements for the complex. Option B includes necessary improvements to arena storage and change rooms, a social hub/lobby and office expansion, a fitness area expansion, a new leisure pool, a second sheet of ice at the Complex, plus team rooms and a lobby extension.

“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,” read a release sent out by the RDCK on Friday.

Both bylaws will now proceed for provincial approval before proceeding “to a public process to seek voter approval by means of assent voting or referendum.”

The RDCK board has resolved that the referendum will 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,” Lawrence Chernoff, chair of the Castlegar & District Recreation Commission, said in the release. “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.”

The timing for the referendum has not yet been determined, but it is projected to take place before the summer of 2018. It will be open to eligible voters in Castlegar, Area I and Area J.

Residents from all three areas participated in a survey put out by the Recreation Commission and 62 per cent indicated that they would support Option B in a referendum.

However, only 49 per cent of Area I residents said that they would support Option B in a referendum.

Percentages were above 50 per cent for both Casltegar (63 per cent) and Area J (67 per cent).