For Immediate Release
February 24, 2016
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FEBRUARY 23 COUNCIL MEETING
Council agreed to support a proposal by Rogers Communications Inc. to construct a wireless telecommunication facility at 2535 Juliann Road, in West Kelowna’s Business Park. Rogers has adequately followed the required Industry Canada public consultation protocol and the proposal has not received public opposition. The proposed tower is not planned in a residential area, thereby alleviating concerns.
2015 Tourism Activities Report
Council was provided a report on tourism activities in 2015. For 2015, Council approved $96,000 in funding for tourism activities. Additional revenues were received from partnerships with Westbank First Nation ($5,500) and grants (Destination BC Visitor Centre Grant - $6,250 and Destination BC/TOTA Community Tourism Fund - $8,500). Tourism expenses for 2015 were for the visitor centre ($35,608), a community tourism coordinator ($30,034), the Visitor Guide reprint ($5,500), website ($6,514) and advertising & promotion ($34,694).
2016 Economic Development Operational Plan
Council approved the 2016 Economic Development Operational Plan outlining activities to be undertaken by the Economic Development Office in 2016. The plan was developed using input gathered from the local business community through a number of stakeholder meetings including the 2015 Mayor's Breakfast with Business and the monthly business visitation program and from the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission Advisory Board and during associated business walks. The newly-appointed West Kelowna Economic Development Committee provided input into the plan. Council will be provided quarterly updates on activities outlined in the plan.
New City Hall Loan Authorization Bylaw
Council gave first three readings to the City of West Kelowna City Hall Project Loan Authorization Bylaw to allow the borrowing of up to $10.5 million for the construction of a new City Hall, part of the larger West Kelowna Civic Centre Project. The bylaw will now be forwarded to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development for review and approval by the Inspector of Municipalities. At its meeting on February 9, Council agreed to seek approval from voters for the borrowing of the funds through an Alternative Approval Process (AAP). After ministerial approvals are received, Council will consider setting the deadline date for the AAP and the number of eligible electors in West Kelowna to determine the 10% of voters to be defined in the AAP. The West Kelowna Civic Centre project is a public-private partnership involving privately-owned land at 3641 Elliott Road. Ownership of all land associated with the new City Hall, to be located within the West Kelowna Civic Centre, will be transferred to the City once all construction agreements have been finalized. The project also includes an office building and two residential buildings as well as a public plaza. Interior Health announced in December that it would locate its services for Westside residents within the office building.
City Hall Communications Plan
Council provided input into a Communications Plan for the Alternative Approval Process related to the borrowing of up to $10.5 million for the construction of a new City Hall, part of the West Kelowna Civic Centre project. The plan is intended to inform West Kelowna residents and property owners about the AAP as well as the Civic Centre project, the Westbank Centre Revitalization Plan, the plan to revert Mt. Boucherie Community Centre back to its intended use as a community hall and the Interior Health commitment to locate health services in the Civic Centre project. The plan spans over one month and includes a mail out to every home in West Kelowna two weeks before the AAP begins, advising of an open house hosted by Mayor and Council which will include an open microphone to take questions. Several communications tools will be employed during the communication period including newspaper advertisements, media releases, website information, social media postings and email notification to subscribers. Interested parties can sign up at www.westkelownacity.ca/notifyme to receive emails directly from the City on upcoming news and events, including information related to the AAP and the West Kelowna Civic Centre project.
Royal LePage Place
Council authorized that an agreement be executed between the City and RLK Realty Ltd. (Royal LePage Kelowna) for the naming rights to Royal LePage Place for a 10-year period. The current agreement for the naming rights at the facility expires July 31, 2016.