Borrowing bylaw, AAP launched for LWR land purchase
One, two, three… go.
The District of Invermere (DOI) council gave Bylaw No. 1557 first, second and third reading at their regular scheduled meeting Feb, 5.
It was the next step in the process towards public consultation in regards to the potential purchase of the Lake Windermere Resort (LWR) lands in Althalmer.
The bylaw will allow the DOI to borrow an amount “not exceeding $5 million” to purchase the land.
Council also directed Corporate Officer Kindry Luyendyk to proceed with an Alternate Approval Process (AAP) to determine if they have the approval of electors to go ahead with the purchase.
The AAP is a form of approval that allows electors to indicate if they are against a local government proposal going forward.
After being advertised, the form will be sent out to the electors, who can then mail or drop off the original form to the DOI.
There are 2,398 eligible electors in the DOI, and it would take 239 against for the AAP to fail. At that point, the DOI would have to go to a referendum.
Councillor Gerry Taft said he feel an AAP can be risky.
“People don’t all like the process, and sometimes it is not even the issue that matters, they just don’t like the AAP,” he said.
Coun. Ute Juras also expressed some hesitation as people often “don’t understand the process and get upset.”
However, Coun. Kajya Becker looked at it from a different angle.
“Perhaps this is a good chance for public education regarding the AAP,” she said.
Mayor Al Miller agreed with Becker, adding it is less costly than going to a referendum.
“It will save us about $10,000,” said Miller. “A referendum costs about that. We want to be totally transparent about (the purchase of the land). And I don’t want to miss this opportunity to bring it into our fold where we can plan (what happens with the land) with our community.”
Coun. Greg Anderson referred to the purchase of the LWR lands as a “generational opportunity” and said he was in favour of taking it to the public with the AAP.
AAPs have been used in the DOI in the past and have worked well, said DOI Chief Administrative Officer Chris Prosser.
Lead image: The LWR property is located in the middle of the photo of Athalmer. e-KNOW file photo
– Stephanie Stevens/e-KNOW