written by Nelson Star staff writer

A referendum to borrow $1.2 million to renovate the Riondel community centre has been resoundingly defeated. Only 31 people supported the proposal, while 116 voted against. Turnout was 66 per cent.

The proposal, favoured by nearly three quarters of eligible residents in a straw vote this summer, would have seen a portion of the former school torn down and an “aggressive” renovation to the rest.

The community centre, the former J.A. Cochran school, was built in stages between the early 1950s and 1967. It sat empty from 1972 until 1979, when the Regional District of Central Kootenay acquired it from the school district. However, it has never been renovated and retains its original appearance.

In recent years it has been home to many groups, including the seniors society, art club, historical society, and library.

It’s unclear what will happen to the building now.



Conservation Fund Referendum PASSES!

A referendum to create a conservation fund in three rural areas narrowly passed.

Residents of areas A (East Shore), D (Rural Kaslo) and E (Rural Nelson) collectively voted 1,128 to 1,042 in favour of the proposal, which will see residents pay a $15 parcel tax to raise $106,500 for various conservation projects.

The fund is expected to be administered by the Kootenay Conservation Program, similar to a program in the East Kootenay.

The referendum passed at only five of the 20 polling stations, failed in 12, and there were three ties, yet was approved overall. The greatest support was registered at pollis in Crawford Bay, Kaslo, and Procter, while the greatest opposition was in Balfour and Wynndel. Most other polling stations were separated by only a few votes.

The overall voter turnout was 41 per cent.

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