Lake Country council asked to approve $7.6M in early spending

Approval for early spending

The District of Lake Country is looking for council authorization to spend more than $7.6 million prior to approval of the 2021-2025 financial plan.

The financial plan, and associated 2021 budget, was introduced to council Tuesday.

At its meeting next week, council will be asked that 20 capital projects and staff hirings be given early approval to allow for expenditures prior to adoption of the financial plan.

In a report for council, deputy CAO/CFO Tanya Garost says each year, some projects require early tendering in order to maximize the number of potential submissions and most competitive bids.

"Some purchases require extensive lead time to receive the items such as fire equipment and apparatus," she said.

Included in the requests is an $825,000 payment to the City of Kelowna for rail trail land acquisition. This is the final payment due to the city after Kelowna paid for half of Lake Country's share of the purchase price from CN Rail in 2015.

It also includes more than $3.2 million for two separate construction projects on Bottom Woods Lake Road, Carr’s Landing Nuyen System Construction, and the hiring of two new positions.

Meantime, council did give first reading Tuesday to the 2021 budget, approving the 2 per cent base-budget increase as well as an additional 1.25 per cent parks and rec master plan increase.

That master plan was one of the items deferred from a year ago due to COVID-19.

Two other smaller items, totalling another 0.24 per cent will be debated later in the budget process.

Council is also expected to approve a virtual town hall Feb. 9 to give residents a chance to provide feedback on the budget.

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