Kelowna Mayor, Walter Gray emphasized the multi-year nature of how progress occurs within the city during his annual address to the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Thursday.
In what could be his final State of the City address, Gray provided business and community leaders with a detailed account of accomplishments from the past year and outlined aspirations for the years ahead.
“A number of the things Council inherited or initiated in our first year are just now coming to fruition,” says Mayor Gray, who noted this Council is in the final nine months of its three-year mandate.
As examples of how Council has worked to invigorate downtown Kelowna, the mayor cited plans to build an Interior Health Authority property downtown, recent development announcements for Central Green, the Bernard Avenue revitalization, the Monaco towers and progress on plans to develop the Willow Inn site.
“We are gaining momentum and we see a number of opportunities coming forward that will help grow our economy and enhance citizens’ quality of life,” said Mayor Gray.
He also noted investments worth $25 million in Rutland during the past two years, along with plans to engage the community in designing a plan for the Pandosy Waterfront. Mayor Gray also described a multi-million dollar plan for Lakeshore Road improvements and bridge replacement.
“We are, first and foremost careful financial managers… that helps create a positive atmosphere for businesses to invest in Kelowna, and it helps us build and invest in priorities important to our residents and businesses.”
Investments in community safety, public engagement, innovation and opportunities for active living are among the priorities for the future.
“We are laying the groundwork for a city that is a positive place to invest in for many years to come and a great place to call home.”