Council asked for grant to help fund Rutland on-call project

Funds for Rutland patrol

Kelowna city council is being asked to provide a one-time $130,000 grant to help fund an on-call program for the Rutland area.

The pilot program through the Uptown Rutland Business Association would be modelled on the successful downtown on-call program designed to enhance safety, cleanliness and overall appeal for Uptown Rutland.

The program came out of a spike in crime in the Rutland area over the first eight months of last year.

Over that period of time crime soared nearly 28 per cent while crime in the downtown core fell 22.3 per cent.

Residents and businesses in the area blame much of the increase on the opening of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Assistance office.

The RCMP transitioned some resources from downtown to Rutland in response to the numbers.

The URBA on-call pilot is a recommendation from the Mayor's Task Force on Crime Reduction instituted last summer.

It's the first of several recommendations expected over the coming weeks.

The grant would be similar to one provided by the city to the DKA for its on call program. Since 2008, the city has provided $70,000 annually. That amount went up to $100,000 in 2023.

The DKA funding is provided through a downtown business improvement area bylaw, however the URBA BIA does not receive grant funding from the city specifically allocated to an on-call team.

Along with the grant funding, staff will also be asked to craft a framework for BIA grant programs that is scalable for any BIA seeking city funding for similar initiatives.

The total cost of the one-year pilot program is estimated at $305,000. URBA has committed $50,000 and is seeking the remaining $125,000 through grants and community sponsorship.

The program will enable four full-time staff and a supervisor to provide patrols and response 15 hours daily in the summer and 12 hours a day in the winter.

More Kelowna News