KELOWNA, B.C. — The Okanagan Mainline Municipal Association (OMMA) says it has come up with a plan to better manage the Coquihalla Highway.
In its proposal called ‘Commercializing the Coquihalla,’ the group offers to establish a private-sector corporation to oversee operations of the highway and ensure revenue is used to improve the local highway network.
The not-for-profit corporation OMMA plans to set up would collect toll revenues, award road contracts and re-invest revenues back into local roads, the board of directors says.
“We’re tired of the revenue going into the black hole and not going into our infrastructure,” says OMMA president, Ron Cannan. “We’re seeing our infrastructure crumble and the money put into other projects throughout British Columbia.”
The proposal will be tabled to members of OMMA before being taken to the provincial government, which is currently seeking public-private partnerships for the highway. Cannan tells local media the OMMA proposal is aimed at keeping the toll revenues out of the pockets of a private corporation.
“You’d lose control of that cash flow for several decades,” he says. “You’re giving up the goose that’s laying the golden egg.”
OMMA executives will be discussing the proposal at a meeting Jan. 24 in Vernon.
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