Posted on: July 27, 2016

Council Highlights

Council Meeting
July 26, 2016

Office Portable Repair

Council authorized spending $35,000 to conduct emergency repairs to an office portable on the Mt. Boucherie Municipal Hall site to rid the space of a foul odour stemming from what is believed to be dead rodents in the portable walls. Seven Finance staff have been evacuated from the portable and accommodated in spaces within the other buildings on the Mt. Boucherie site that have been left vacant by vacationing staff. The portable, purchased in 2008 from the Regional District of Central Okanagan for $50,000, is estimated to be 37 years old. Repairs were recommended over replacement as the work needed to be done immediately to ensure effective municipal operations and because replacing the portable with an improved portable would require building code specifications be met and sewer and water hookups provided, which are not currently included.

Goat’s Peak/Gellatly Comprehensive Development Plan

Council directed staff to proceed with the associated bylaw amendments to the Official Community Plan upon completion of the size and location for the proposed neighbourhood commercial, school and park sites within the plan and associated timing for the dedication of park land. The Goat’s Peak/Gellalty Comprehensive Development Zone encompasses four properties totaling approximately 110 hectares. The proposed land uses generally adhere to the Official Community Plan in that 55% of the land base will be set aside as open space protection with developed areas focused on historically disturbed areas on the site. The development of the subject lands will provide community benefits including an elementary school site and parkland suitable for an athletic field and recreational connectivity to adjacent regional parkland. The location may also provide economic benefits to the Westbank Centre and Gellatly Bay areas of the City. Staff will incorporate Council’s feedback into the final plan and refine the commercial, school and park locations before bringing the bylaw amendments to Council for first and second reading.

Water Rates Study

Council was provided information on its rate study for the City’s Water Utility, being conducted by Urban Systems Ltd. The rate study will provide the City with an equitable and comprehensive rate structure for all users and recommend bylaw and policy revisions regarding water fees as well as provide a communication plan for rate changes and water conservation. Council had earlier established the underlying principles to be applied, that the water system should be working towards one level of service and one rate; that capital costs should be equitably allocated to each of the service areas; and agricultural users will be charged based on two categories, a rate for Class 9 (Farm) and a rate for properties within the Agricultural Land Reserve but not assessed as Class 9. Council provided suggestions which will be incorporated into a draft rate structure which will be taken for public consultation.

Water Supply & Drought Plan Update

Council was provided an update on the City’s water supply and the developing drought plan, encouraged by the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB). Engineering staff are not recommending moving to Stage 2 Watering Restrictions at this time as lake levels are showing a significant improvement over last year, largely due to a wetter June and July. Drought occurs naturally in the Okanagan and the Province and OBWB encourage Okanagan communities to conserve water and have a drought plan in place. The plan will provide the decision-making framework and means to proactively respond to drought or water shortages. The City is expected to establish a drought plan by the end of summer.

School Speed Zone Time Change

Council agreed to approve a request from School District No. 23 to alter the school speed zone times in West Kelowna to be applicable from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., adjusted from 8 a.m. currently. The School District indicated that many school programs are being offered prior to the start of the regular school day. The move is expected to enhance school safety and being applied in other communities in the Okanagan.

2016 Citizens’ Survey

Council was provided the results of the 2016 Citizens’ Survey, the 9th annual survey of West Kelowna taxpayers. The City received 360 completed surveys, out of 1,000 mailed to randomly-selected taxpayers from 10 neighbourhood zones. The Importance versus Quality Comparison indicated the following services are not meeting expectations of respondents:

  • Road Maintenance
  • Snow Clearing/Removal
  • Roads
  • Sidewalks
  • Illegal Dumping Cleanup Program
  • Economic Development
Other key results include:
  • 85% of respondents indicate their quality of life in West kelowna is Good or Very Good
  • 68% of respondents are 55 years old or older; 45% are retired
  • 66% of respondents indicate West Kelowna is growing at the right pace
  • 84% or respondents never use transit
Full results are available at www.westkelownacity.ca/citizenssurvey.

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