After several strategic planning sessions, West Kelowna Council adopted its 2013 Update to its 2012 – 2104 Strategic Priorities at its Feb. 12 Council meeting.
Council has indicated four main categories of focus: Economic Development, Westbank Centre, Wine Route/Waterfront, and West Kelowna Industrial Park and has applied goals and action items for each.
“I am happy to say that this might be my favorite strategic plan yet. This plan doesn’t feel like a catch-up plan, a transition plan, like our other Strategic Priorities have,” says Mayor Doug Findlater.
“Five years ago, our new municipality’s Council sat around a table with three staff to plan how to set up an effective local government from scratch. Along with this enormous task, we were faced with a stalled 26 million dollar sewer servicing strategy, the skyrocketing capital expense of a new RCMP detachment, serious and community-wide infrastructure failings and five per cent tax increases for the foreseeable future. We managed these challenges effectively and efficiently, and now, our plans are in place and our path is clear.”
Findlater says this year, Council had the luxury of thinking beyond the foundational work that has occupied the municipality for the past five years and the 2013 Update to the 2012-2014 Strategic Priorities is evidence of Council expanding its thinking into new areas of interest.
For 2013, key action items have been identified for each category:
- Economic Development Focus – Enhanced Business Development Office presence and increased networking with the community
- Tourism – Stakeholders Forum in 2013
- Business Support – Host 2nd annual West Kelowna Business Round Table; produce a Business License Director; Produce “Doing Business with DWK” guide
- Revenue Opportunities for DWK – Council workshop to bring forward innovative revenue generation opportunities; Westbank Cemetery Strategy Implementation
- Economic Enhancements to Municipal Operations – Conclude service reviews with Regional District of Central Okanagan; communicate internal service review process to the public throughout the year; reduce duplication between Regional District of Central Okanagan and the District of West Kelowna; business case analysis for location of City Hall
- Health Care Presence – Investigate feasibility, and public interest in, a health services facility located in Westbank Centre
- Municipal Hall – Presentation to Council on municipal hall facility next steps including market sounding; invest in improvements to Westbank Centre infrastructure and amenities
- Street-Level Improvements – Invest in improvements to Westbank Centre infrastructure and amenities; Brown Road improvements by June
- Couplet – Consider options for Couplet realignment; seek a final resolution
- Transit Exchange on Elliott Road – Work with BC Transit and stakeholders through design and construction of transit exchange in 2013; BCC Transit to ensure communication regarding project with businesses in the area
- Music in the Park Enhancements – Improve facilities through capital investment (Park Plan 1st Phase); Program enhancements
- Boucherie Road Wine Route – Consider future phasing of Boucherie Road – Wine Route upgrades to the new wine route standard (next steps and location)
- Gellatly Road – Complete Gellatly Road/Waterfront Phase 3 improvement by Spring 2013; tender project early for Council’s consideration
- Waterfront Acquisition – Develop a master strategy for acquisition to expand public amenities on the waterfront
- Waterfront Parking – Develop a plan for waterfront parking including improvements to Gellatly Road and CNR Wharf
- CNR Wharf – Complete design for improvements, communicate with the public ; update to Council in January; improvements in 2014
- Partnerships – Explore improvement opportunities with waterfront stakeholders and partnerships,
WEST KELOWNA INDUSTRIAL PARK
- Public Communication – Brand and market the industrial area in West Kelowna in consultation with property owners
- Manufacturers Support – Engage with manufacturing industries in West Kelowna; Manufactures Round Table with Council
- Public Works – Investigate feasibility of public works yard (Bartley Road Crown Land request to Province)
- Capital Improvements - install improved signage; streetscape improvements plan to Council
- Transit Exchange – Work with BC Transit and stakeholders through design and construction of transit exchange in 2013 at Highway 978 and Westgate Road
The 2012 - 2014 Strategic Priorities 2013 Update is accompanied by the 2013 Operational Details document which defines the specific initiatives and includes timelines for meeting Council’s strategic goals.
“This plan reveals what West Kelowna Council envisions for our future,” says Mayor Findlater.
“With the past five years of strategic planning under our belts – and most of this Council has been there from the start – I can honestly say that this year’s planning sessions were a pleasure. And I left them feeling buoyed and hopeful that our foundation has been solidly placed and our future is very bright.”
The documents are available for the public to view on the District’s website under “Mayor and Council/2013 Strategic Priorities”.