For Immediate Release
August 23, 2016
City Hall Referendum Question of the Week #1
Why don’t you use space already available
in the community to house City Hall?
West Kelowna taxpayers go to the polls on September 17, 2016 to decide whether the City will move forward with borrowing up to $7.7 million to build a permanent City Hall, part of the larger West Kelowna Civic Centre Project.
In the interest of ensuring accurate information is being shared amongst residents, the City is distributing a Question of the Week, providing answers to the most common questions we are receiving about the City Hall project.
This week’s Question is:
Why don’t you just use space that is already available to house City Hall?
One of West Kelowna Council’s goals was to see the City Hall project as an economic driver, incorporating a Civic Centre to complement the municipal investment. The city does not own suitable land to support this goal.
Council did consider the option to lease space in an existing building. What was discovered is it will actually be less expensive to build and own this City Hall through the public-private partnership with Strategic Development Group than to lease space indefinitely. Debt repayments under the current proposal, already budgeted for in the 10-Year Financial Plan, are estimated at $472,480/year. The estimated annual cost to lease similar space is $621,000.
Leasing space on Westbank First Nations land was also not considered a viable option. It would be inappropriate for the City of West Kelowna to situate its legislative and administrative centre (i.e. City Hall) on the land of the independent and self-governing Westbank First Nation.
For more information, visit at www.westkelownacity.ca/cityhall.