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End of line for Nelson’s White Building proposal

Rendering of the third floor reception area in the proposed reconfigured White Building.  - Courtesy City of Nelson
Rendering of the third floor reception area in the proposed reconfigured White Building.
— image credit: Courtesy City of Nelson

The Regional District of Central Kootenay isn’t likely to reconsider the City of Nelson’s White Building proposal, nor are the board and council of the two local governments expected to get together for a joint debriefing.

But the RDCK’s chair and Nelson’s mayor say they had an amicable dinner meeting last week and don’t expect the issue to cloud their relationship.

“We had a good discussion,” said chair John Kettle. “[Mayor John Dooley] expressed his concern about the lopsided vote, but I felt good afterward.”

Last month the board voted 19-1 against the city’s idea to share space in the White Building. It will instead renovate its existing office on Lakeside Drive.

Kettle said he does not plan to ask the board to reconsider.

“It was pretty clear the direction the board is taking. We’re happy where we are and with our space plan. What everybody forgot is the regional district did not have to move. It was just a feeler.”

Dooley said he asked Kettle if they could take another look at the proposal, “but he said it was a fairly resounding rejection and it probably wouldn’t be easy to bring it back at this point.”

Although Kettle invited city council to meet with the board, Dooley said that isn’t going to happen. “It wouldn’t make any difference to the outcome. You might be able to talk about the process and whose feelings were hurt, but other than that I don’t see any real benefit.”

The mayor said they could “absolutely” move on and he hopes the work that went into the city’s proposal isn’t all for naught as they try to find another tenant for the vacant space in the White Building. But he lamented the extra hours staff put in over the Christmas holidays.

“All of this is going to benefit us at the end of the day. Having said that, would we have preferred to do it at a different time of year? Yes.”

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