Elected officials toured the controversial Sickle Point property in Kaleden on Jan. 18.
Members of the Save Sickle Point committee were joined by Chief Greg Gabriel from the Penticton Indian Band (PIB), Karla Kozakevich, chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) Subrina Monteith, Area “I“ director for the RDOS, MP Richard Cannings and MLA Roly Russell who all took a trip to the site to learn about the history and ecological importance of the property.
“It is good that we have gathered with common interests to move forward working together to conserve this important and majestic site,” said Chief Gabriel in a release.
The RDOS currently has an accepted $2.5 million offer on the property with conditions, including approval of a bylaw to borrow the necessary money.
The process is currently undergoing an alternate approval process, the results of which will be made public in February. If the alternate approval process does not pass, then the RDOS will consider a full referendum on the proposed borrowing, if another offer has not been made and accepted on the property.
The Save Sickle Point Committe has been gathering pledges and applying for grants to fundraise the costs of purchasing the property with the goal of reducing the impact on taxpayers in the Kaleden Parks and Recreation Service Area, which includes Twin Lakes and St. Andrews.
If the Regional District is successful in purchasing Sickle Point for the community, uses for the property will be explored by the Regional District, PIB and the communities within the Kaleden Parks and Recreation Service Area.
“Purchasing Sickle Point will prevent development and preserve and protect critical habitat for species at risk,” said Monteith. “The protection of this site will allow for continued use of this area for future generations.”
The land itself is considered rare water birch – rose riparian habitat, much of which has been lost over the last century.
For more information about the alternative approval process, please visit www.rdosregionalconnections.ca. The RDOS is hosting another information meeting Jan. 27.
For further information about the Save Sickle Point Committee, or to make a pledge you can visit www.kaledencommunity.com/sicklepoint .
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