For Immediate Release
May 05, 2016
CITY HALL ALTERNATIVE APPROVAL PROCESS UNSUCCESSFUL
COUNCIL TO CONSIDER OPTIONS MAY 10
A total of 3,871 valid elector response forms were submitted in opposition to the City of West Kelowna borrowing up to $10.5 million to build a new City Hall. This exceeds the required threshold of 2,603 forms required to deem the Alternative Approval Process conducted between March 23 and May 3 unsuccessful. Council will discuss next steps involving the City Hall and West Kelowna Civic Centre at its meeting Tuesday, May 10.
“Council has certainly heard that there is opposition to the Alternative Approval Process and some questions still outstanding about the project itself,” says Mayor Doug Findlater. “Council will regroup on Tuesday and discuss next steps, but after seeing almost 15% of voters engaged with this process, there is no doubt that there is significant interest in the community about this project.”
The proposed City Hall is part of the larger West Kelowna Civic Centre located at 3641 Elliott Road. The public-private partnership with Strategic Development Group proposes the construction of a new City Hall, an office building in which Interior Health has agreed to lease space for a consolidated health centre, and two residential buildings. The City Hall construction is estimated to cost $14.8 million to construct with Council asking voters to approve borrowing up to $10.5 million to fund.
“Council has put a great deal of thought into this project, spending over three years working towards our goals for our new city hall, which we believe will act as a catalyst for economic development in our downtown core and provide opportunity for expanded health services which we need in West Kelowna,” says Mayor Findlater. “But we obviously have some new considerations given this result and, as always, we will share our intentions with the public at every step.”
"The project has been part of Council’s Strategic Priorities for three years as an economic development and downtown revitalization strategy,” says Mayor Findlater. “It was also a major election issue in November 2014 and most members of Council publicly supported the project.”
The City received a total of 4,144 elector response forms of which 273 were deemed invalid.
Council will be provided a report outlining options and legislative requirements for consideration at its meeting Tuesday, May 10 beginning at 1:30 p.m. The report will be provided publicly as part of the agenda package to be released this Friday. The public is invited to attend the Council meeting or can watch live via webcast at www.westkelownacity.ca/webcast.