Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

The North Okanagan regional district is looking to purchase a private utility company that services Silver Star Mountain.

To do so, though, the regional district says it needs to borrow $4.5 million to buy Silverhawk Utilities’ assets.

And since it’s a public body looking to borrow money, the regional district (RDNO) has to alert local residents, which it did on Thursday by posting a page on its website.

However, the RDNO says it plans on using the alternative approval process – a measure that benefits governments, as it puts the onus on residents to say no.

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What is the alternative approval process?


Often used by local governments, an alternative approval process will automatically pass unless 10 per cent of voters in a specific area register public opposition within a deadline, usually 30 days or so.

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If that 10 per cent threshold is met, the local government can then either abandon its plan or hold a public referendum.

As to why local governments use the alternative approval process, it’s often cited as being cheaper than holding a referendum.

In this case, the RDNO says the threshold to oppose the AAP and force a referendum is 153 people in the Silver Star region of Electoral Area C. The deadline is Monday, Nov. 20 at 4 p.m.

The regional district also said the total purchase price for Silverhawks’ assets is $6 million payable over four years, along with contingency fees for new connections and developments for the next decade.

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This month, the City of Kelowna gave itself the green light to borrow $241 million to upgrade several recreation facilities after its alternative approval process passes.

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Concerns over borrowing millions for recreational projects


According to the city, just 4,153 residents opposed the plan, falling short of the 12,000 needed to force a referendum.

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However, the District of Summerland is also seeking to borrow $50 million to build a new recreation centre.

But unlike Kelowna and the RDNO, Summerland isn’t using the AAP, and is instead going straight to the public with a referendum.

More information on the regional district’s plan to borrow $4.5 million is available on the RDNO’s website.

 

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The post North Okanagan regional district using alternative approval process to borrow $4.5M – Okanagan | Globalnews.ca appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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