04/10/2013 12:12 EDT | Updated 06/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Rossland council votes to keep high school open

Rossland City Council has voted to pay to keep its only high school open, but the plan still needs the support of local taxpayers and the school district that wants to close the school.

Earlier this year the Kootenay-Columbia School District decided to close Rossland Secondary School and bus students to nearby Trail because of declining enrollment.

But many Rossland residents feel their high school is just too valuable to lose according to an unofficial survey, which found the majority of locals said they'd be willing to pay more taxes to keep it open.

This week city councillors passed a motion alerting the school board they'll raise $140,000 a year to keep the school open for grades 10 to 12.

According to Aerin Guy, the spokesman for the campaign to keep the high school, the plan will cost each local household about $45 a year in increased property taxes.

"I think there is a cost to the community without having our 10 to 12's. Everybody obviously has to weigh that against their own financial situation but $45 a year seems like a small price to pay."

Guy is thrilled city hall is behind them and will help raise the money to keep the high school open, but the city's support comes with a catch – the council wants to hold an official referendum to be sure Rossland residents are on board with the plan.

Then they have to convince the Kootenay-Columbia School District to keep the school open.