Revelstoke mayor David Raven said the City of Revelstoke’s main concern about the Revelstoke Adventure Park (RAP) proposal in Greeley is the city’s water supply.
In an interview with the Times Review, Raven said the Province of B.C. and the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District will need to sort out a whole host of issues, such as access from the Trans-Canada, the Illecillewaet River bridge crossing, the CP Rail crossing and more. But from the city’s point of view, it’s water.
“There was a pressure to the city’s water supply and we had to have it formally protected and understood,” Raven said. “It’s a very substantial development; two chairlifts and the roadwork is similar to what was originally built [at Revelstoke Mountain Resort].”
Although the proponents have underscored that the boundaries of the proposal is not within the City of Revelstoke’s Greeley watershed, Raven said the potential for issues are there. Raven noted the chairlifts create the potential for skiing into the nearby Greeley watershed.
The mayor said he supported economic development initiatives, but not at the expense of drinking water. “It’s economic development for the community, but it has to go forward on the right grounds. You don’t sacrifice the city’s water supply for the promise of a couple of jobs, or even a hundred jobs. What value is the city’s water supply?”
Raven said the city’s exploration of boundary expansion into the area is focused on water: “We don’t want the tax revenue or control of the development, but we want to ensure that the water supply is protected.”
He said developing major proposals like Revelstoke Mountain Resort or the Revelstoke Adventure Park is a long and complex process involving local, regional and provincial government stakeholders, and that an initial rejection can be a normal part of the process.
For example, Raven said the RMR Master Development Agreement is a massive document filling several binders that contains a broad range of contractual obligations and commitments. He said the RAP proposal may require a similar comprehensive agreement, and will also have to work out a relationship with the existing RMR Master Development Agreement right next door.
The former forestry bureaucrat said the proponents’ proposal will need to be fleshed out. “It was a very preliminary piece that they sent in.”
The rejection by provincial authorities signalled the ball was in the proponents’ court” “We spend an awful lot of money to provide safe water for the populace of the city. It’s really up to them to prove that they’re not there, and it’s also up to us to ensure we’ve protected the water resource.”
In Revelstoke, the rejection by provincial authorities has created much gossip around town. A prevailing theme has portrayed Revelstoke City Hall and the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District as standing in the way of the proposed development.