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Community rallies to raise money to preserve Naramata beach

The RDOS currently has an offer of $1.7 million for the Centre Beach parcel
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The Centre Beach parcel the RDOS is interested in purchasing, as seen on the NaramataSlow Facebook page. (Facebook)

Every dollar raised in a new community fundraiser makes it easier to preserve the beach in Naramata as park space.

Community group NaramataSlow started a fundraiser on Sept. 18 that has so far brought in over $440,000.

The $440,000 is over half of the group’s $850,000 goal to reduce the cost of the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen to purchase the parcel of waterfront property.

Those funds would reduce the amount of money that the RDOS would need to borrow, and reduce the chance that residents decide against a loan when the RDOS goes to them with a required borrowing bylaw.

READ MORE: Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen applying for grants for Keremeos and Kaleden

The RDOS currently has an offer with the Naramata Centre Society for the parcel that features the wharf and is the centre of the beachfront in Naramata.

“There’s a parcel right across of a road end, there’s three small lots there as well, that we don’t have the money for right now but wanted to put an option or first right of refusal on those,” said Bill Newell, the RDOS’ chief administrative officer. “Then they proposed three small lots that could be a potential location for a community centre in the future. We’ve got lots of stuff floating in the air.”

The current offer from the RDOS is for $1.7 million for the parcel of beachfront. The lots haven’t been put on the market, and the Naramata Centre Society is dealing directly with the RDOS first.

Whether NaramataSlow is able to raise all of the funds they want or not, the RDOS will be going forward with getting a sales agreement for the land. Once there is an agreed price, the RDOS will go to the public with how much would be required in borrowing.

“At this point, we’re just waiting for comments back on the agreements that we’ve sent over to them,” said Newell. “It’s going to be fairly quick I think.”

If the RDOS does get the funding and assent from the public, the parcel would be maintained as a park for the public.

For more information on the NaramataSlow fundraiser, you can go to their website at naramataslow.com or search for It Takes a Village to Save a Beach on wayblaze.com.

READ MORE: Volunteers needed for Oct. 18 community cleanup of River Channel

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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