Regional districts, Splatsin take lead on rail trail

There is excitement but no decisions on the purchase of the abandoned CP Rail line.

There is excitement but no decisions on the purchase of the abandoned CP Rail line from Sicamous south towards Vernon for use as a recreational trail.

The matter has been the subject of discussion by representatives from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Splatsin First Nation and the Regional district of North Okanagan (RDNO).

“There have been preliminary discussions at the political, technical and staff level,” said CSRD chief administrative officer Charles Hamilton last Thursday, noting the understanding is that each party will report to their respective boards or councils seeking direction as to whether they want to proceed. “I’ll be taking a report to the May board (of directors) meeting for their consideration.”

Hamilton says rather than have all the communities with a vested interest involved in the process, it was decided at the political level, to use a regional-district framework.

CSRD Area E director Rhona Martin, mayors and regional district reps at a recent meeting decided it would be simpler to keep it to three organizations.

“All of us were pretty excited and there’s a great willingness to work on this project together,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what the upshot of the May meeting is. Splatsin is really excited and we’re all hopeful we can move this project forward.”