A small group of property owners east of Sicamous will pay an additional property tax to stop trains from whistling at a crossing near their homes. (Pixabay Image)

A small group of property owners east of Sicamous will pay an additional property tax to stop trains from whistling at a crossing near their homes. (Pixabay Image)

Additional tax will silence CP Rail train whistles near Shuswap homes

Owners of nine properties near Sicamous will pay for liability insurance at crossing

Residents of the Cambie-Solsqua area east of Sicamous will continue to enjoy a little more peace and quiet near the railroad tracks.

Following a vote by the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board at their Feb. 18 meeting, a service area will be created to collect a tax from residents near the Solsqua Road train crossing. Taxes gleaned from the service area will pay for the required liability insurance and administrative costs associated with stopping trains from whistling as they approach the crossing.

The process of halting train whistles at the Solsqua road crossing began in late 2018. The CSRD board directed regional district staff to ask CP Rail to stop train whistles at the crossing. The railway stopped the whistles but billed the regional district for liability insurance.

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An initial attempt to get public assent for the service area and a new tax included 17 properties in the service area. No successful petition was received so, in late 2020, the regional district tried again and changed the service area to include only nine properties. A successful petition, which accounted for both 50 per cent of families and 50 per cent of property value in the area, was received and presented to the board at the Feb. 18 meeting. The nine properties will share a cost of $675 annually based on their property value.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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