A referendum will be held to decide whether or not two properties on Catherwood Road should be annexed into the City of Revelstoke.
“Because it seemed to be contentious issue with some people and maybe the facts weren’t all indicated in the proper fashion, I feel that by having a community referendum we will allow the community to make a decision on this,” said councillor Gary Sulz after introducing a motion to hold the referendum.
The vote will decide if the two Catherwood Road properties, one owned by David Evans and the other by Peter Bernacki, Melinda Bell and Richard Mickle, should join the city.
Council’s decision comes after opponents of the annexation were successful in their petition against the application, collecting 11 more signatures than the 566 needed to trigger the council vote.
The petition did not stop the annexation outright, it instead led to a council decision on whether to hold the referendum or drop the application.
They opted for the former.
Coun. Aaron Orlando noted the petition only counted those opposed to the annexation, not this in support.
“I really think we have the opportunity to put the question to the community about what they want here,” he said. “I believe that is the price of democracy in this question before us right now.”
All five councillors present for the vote supported the motion. Mayor Mark McKee recused himself from the vote because a family member is a part-owner in one of the properties. Coun. Connie Brothers recused herself because of a solicitor-client relationship.
A staff report says it will cost about $10,000 to hold a referendum.
Allan Chabot, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer, said a report will come forward at the next council meeting about the wording of the referendum question. He added they would look to coincide the vote with the election of a new school trustee to replace Leslie Savage on the Revelstoke Board of Education.