For Immediate Release
January 26, 2017
Highlights of the Special Council Meeting
January 24, 2017
Draft 2017-2026 Financial Plan
Council completed its first detailed review of the Draft 2017-2026 Financial Plan which carried over from its meeting on January 17. Council approved $104,877 in Cash Grants in Aid and $8,107 in Non-Cash Grants in Aid for 2017. In 2016, Council approved $99,731 in cash grants and $272,329 in non-cash grants. In previous years, the annual difference between adult and youth rental rates established for youth sport organizations had been part of the Grant in Aid process and included as non-cash grants. This year, the process was changed and the rate difference between adult and youth rentals, in the amount of $269,523 for 2017, was not included as non-cash grants. Council gave early approval to allow recipients to access grants before final adoption of the 2017 budget.
Council gave first reading to the draft budget, which will now be taken for public review at an upcoming open house. The Talk Budget With Council open house will take place Wednesday, February 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Westbank Library, 31 - 2484 Main Street, West Kelowna. The feedback collected at the open house will be presented to Council prior to the second and third readings of the Financial Plan Bylaw.
Highlights of the Regular Council Meeting
January 24, 2017
City Hall Next Steps
Council directed staff not to pursue consideration of a phased-in approach to the construction of a new City Hall and has asked that staff bring forward a business plan for the construction of a City Yards on City-owned property at 2515 Bartley Road. At its meeting October 25, 2016, Council directed staff to investigate costs associated with a phased-in construction of a new municipal office building. With $7.1 million in the Financial Plan available to put towards construction, it was found that phased-in options were too costly and could not be pursued without borrowing funds. It is anticipated that construction of a City Yards would allow the consolidation of the City’s Parks and Utilities functions into one location with some staff also relocating from the current City Hall. It is also anticipated that the City will continue to occupy the Mt. Boucherie Community Hall for 10 to 13 years as funds for a new City Hall are accumulated. Council gave early approval for the expenditure of $65,000 towards development of the Bartley Property Concept Plan.
Shannon Lake Road Development
Council gave first two readings to Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Amendments 2735 Shannon Lake Road. The 3.3 hectare property currently contains a single detached house and the applicant is seeking an OCP amendment from Agricultural to Low Density Multiple Family and a rezoning from Agricultural to Low Density Multiple Residential to facilitate a townhouse or duplex development. The proposal includes a 17.5 metre land dedication for public access along the foreshore of Shannon Lake. The application will now be scheduled for a public hearing once the City receives an enhanced linear parkland dedication plan.
Gellatly Village Study
Council received the Gellatly Village Study which builds upon work completed in the 2011 Waterfront Plan by further refining the vision for Gellatly Bay. The intent of the Gellatly Village Study is to refine the vision of the Waterfront Plan for the Gellatly Bay area in terms of potential future densities and types of development that could be feasible for three development sites (a portion of 5 parcels) that front Gellatly Road near Flying Horse Drive and Rotary Trails Park. The City hired a consultant to undertake a study focusing on density and land use aspects for the refined area. The analysis included an examination of the market viability for various mixed land use scenarios and provided conceptual development frameworks to help provide a visual of the potential future development on these sites. Since March 2015, the process has been underway and included public consultations and stakeholder meetings. The study includes eight recommendations, one of which Council considered at this meeting by directing staff to bring forward an Official Community Plan Amendment for a new Growth Management Designation specific to Gellatly Bay. This amendment is expected to come before Council in February and, if supported, will be scheduled for a public hearing at a subsequent Council meeting.
10-Year Pedestrian Improvement Program
Council directed staff to select pedestrian improvement projects based on a 10 Year Pedestrian Priority Summary approved by Council. The City of West Kelowna regularly receives concerns from residents regarding pedestrian safety and the lack of network connectivity between existing pedestrian facilities. In response to resident concerns, Council committed an increased investment of $600,000 per year for sidewalk installations from 2016 to 2020. From analysis of resident requests and the City’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure Plan, a list of 18 potential pedestrian improvements for a ten-year timeframe was presented to Council. The suggested installations are intended primarily to improve safety and overall mobility, particularly near schools or other recreational facilities. Since 2009, the City has installed 14 km of sidewalks in West Kelowna. Staff will also bring forward a list of roads attached to Development Cost Charge funds for Council’s consideration at a future meeting.
10-Year Road Rehabilitation Plan
Council directed staff to proceed with the 10-Year Road Rehabilitation Plan as presented. A list of road segments throughout the community that are in need of improvement was derived using technical data, master plans and assessment of resident requests. The City has allocated $750,000 to $1 million per year for road improvements in its 10-year capital plan. Since 2009, approximately 64 km of road in West Kelowna has been rehabilitated.
Water Fees Increase
Council adopted an amendment to its Fees and Charges Bylaw to increase fees for all water utility users due to significant cost pressures. The amendment bylaw includes a 15% increase for the Pritchard, West Kelowna Estates, Sunnyside and Lakeview water systems users and a 10% increase for Westbank water system users. The increase cost per year to a resident in a single-family home is estimated as follows:
- $54 for Westbank users
- $58 for Pritchard, West Kelowna Estates and Sunnyside users
- $49 for Lakeview users
The City’s Water Master Plan, adopted in October 2014, indicates significant capital requirement for all systems. A Water Rate Study which will recommend water rates to meet capital requirements has begun but is now on hold as the City awaits word on its grant application to the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund for the construction of a new water treatment plant at the Rose Valley Reservoir. Rate increases are effective for 2017.