A group gets ready to head down the Columbia River, launching from the Athalmer boat launch. A large chunk of property in this area is now owned by the District of Invermere. File photo

Invermere buys Athalmer land for $5 million

Celebratory barbecue to come

The District of Invermere (DOI) is now the proud owner of the Lake Windermere Resort Lands down by James Chabot beach.

In an opinion poll in last year’s municipal election, 66 per cent of voters supported spending up to $5 million to buy the property, and that’s exactly what the final bill came to when the DOI purchased the land in September.

“We couldn’t negotiate them down any lower. That was as far as they were about to go, but that’s still going to be a great deal for that property,” said Mayor Al Miller.

“Here’s the story: We’ve done a $5 million short-term borrow for over five years through our Municipal Finance Authority. That’s a short-term borrow, which we can pay out, pay down, whatever. And so now that we’re into the planning side of the project, we’re going to start that procedure, and as we can source out funding streams or… any partnerships that we can come up with or grant funding streams, donations, et cetera, we can now pay down that $5 million, and therefore once we get to really setting out the loan for a longer term we can lower the amount by whatever we get in.”

Asked if he felt it was a risky strategy to buy the land before having other funding secured, he said: “No. Definitely I’ve got certainly a good feeling that we’re going to be able to source different granting opportunities or funding sources that’s going to help us pay down this $5 million debt, and then we’ll go for the long-term borrow on the lesser amount.”

Mayor Miller said the DOI will continue looking into possibilities to undo some of the costs to tax payers, which are estimated at $103 a year per home. He said opportunities could exist for funding from the Columbia Basin Trust and the federal or provincial governments and that generous philanthropists could still come forward. Depending on what residents want to see on the land, the DOI could also look for partners for condo or hotel development.

“This is an opportunity for the DOI to look forward into the future, and we have now secured a very important piece of property that’s going to be for the good of many future generations,” he said, adding that $5 million is “not a bad price.”

“That’s going to be the beginning of the consultation,” he said about the barbecue.

He anticipates that the consultation process on the Lake Windermere Resort Lands will run for around a year with open houses and many opportunities for residents to share their thoughts.

“We want to make sure… that we’ve got real consensus on what should be there,” he said.

Just Posted

Jumbo saga reaches finale

A three-decade long disagreement comes to a close.

Province looking at steps to dissolve Jumbo resort municipality

Disincorporating municipality will likely require a legislative change, according to the province

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Former Waterside property to be rezoned?

Invermere residents supported rezoning Waterside property.

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

‘Big money’ funding B.C. politics now mostly from taxpayers

Campaign targets $16 million and counting in ‘politician welfare’

Ski lift closed at B.C. mountain over alleged actions of former employee

‘We are actively investigating and dealing with the actions of a former employee,’ said the resort

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce on display at Royal BC Museum

The classic car has been a favourite for Beatles fans from Victoria and internationally

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

Woman guilty of dangerous driving crash that left Saanich girl, then 11, unresponsive

Nikirk guilty of one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Most Read