District of Invermere Approves $5-Million Loan to Buy Lake Windermere Resort Lands

(Supplied by District of Invermere)

If all goes according to plan, the waterfront area will be the property of the District of Invermere by Canada Day.

At Tuesday's council meeting, Mayor Allen Miller says they voted to approve the Lake Windermere Resort Lands Temporary Borrowing Bylaw. This follows the adoption of the Loan Authorization Bylaw and the successful Alternate Approval Process.

He explains that they will start by short-term financing the $5-million loan for up to five years and then converting the remaining balance to long-term debt for a minimum of 10 years.

"We're going to be going after grant money for the planning process and hopefully for the land purchase, and we thought by doing a five-year short-term, anything we go after, any funds we can gather together, we can reduce the debt of the long-term borrow."

The District will also look at partnering with investors to buy sections of the land.

Miller says the government's own reserve funds are quite strong, but given the higher interest rates associated with going that route, he estimates that they can save taxpayers around $18,625 per year on debt repayment.

Now that the Temporary Borrowing Bylaw has been adopted, the mayor says acquiring the Lake Windermere Resort Lands should be a fairly quick process.

"We're looking at removing conditions on the property - I believe that is happening today or tomorrow - and then we're going to be going through the lawyers and doing up all the paperwork to do the transfer process. We're hoping that by July 1st, it will be a deal."

Once the land formally belongs to the District of Invermere, the first order of business will be to clean up the area and ensure it is in the best possible condition it can be.

Following that, Miller says he and the District want to host a get together with the residents of Invermere to celebrate the occasion. This will likely happen around the end of August of the beginning of September.

Audio: Allen Miller, Mayor, District of Invermere (on using short-term financing)

Audio: Allen Miller, Mayor, District of Invermere (on excitement about the acquisition)

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