City shifts parks budget

Kelowna's parks and finance department needed to find a quick and creative way to fund a potential $9-million renovation to City Park.

Just a week ago, council green-lit a request to apply for a lucrative government grant for much-needed renovations and repairs to the city's premiere park.

These include replacement of the promenade, repairs to the seawall, construction of a new boardwalk and pier, and a new children's playground.

In order to apply for the grant, the city was required to show it had budgeted for its share of the project, $2.43 million.

After taking just over $1 million from the park construction reserve and $200,000 allocated for promenade design, the city was $1.2 million short.

In essence, it robbed Peter to pay Paul, by taking the $1.2 million from the Glenmore Recreational Park Phase 2 budget, and moved it to City Park.

The second phase of Glenmore Park included construction and seeding of two sportfields, footpaths, access roads and 150 parking stalls.

Parks and building planning manager Robert Parlane said once seeded, the field will require a full growing season before they can be used. That wouldn't be until September 2020.

"Therefore, we are proposing to reduce the Glenmore Park budget by $1.2 million, the value of the paving for the roadway and the parking," said Parlane. "This allows the construction and seeding of the field to continue through 2019 with no delay."

He said the money would be returned to the Glenmore Park budget if the grant funding application for City Park is not successful. If it is, funds would be made available in the 2020 budget.

Either way, Parlane said removing the $1.2 million from the 2019 budget won't delay opening of Glenmore Recreation Park.

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