City of Kelowna disputes residents claim over funding for expansion of Glenmore Road

Glenmore funding disputed

Who will pay, and how much will it cost to four-lane a portion of Glenmore Road is at the center of a dispute brought on by some Kelowna residents.

A letter circulated to media and members of city council over the weekend by professional engineer Peter Truch, suggests the city will negate a servicing agreement signed in 2009 for the four-laning of Glenmore Road between Union and McKinley roads.

The letter says if city council approved the 2040 Transportation Master Plan before it Monday, then four-laning of the road, worth about $31.4 million, would fall largely to the taxpayers of the city, and not the developer of the McKinley Beach project as outlined by the 12-year-old servicing agreement.

Council unanimously adopted the 2040 TMP as expected Monday.

Truch claims the four-laning of Glenmore Road was"quietly included within the TMP scope of projects as Glenmore Road Four-Laning and Glenmore Road Safety Improvements, rather than obligating the developer to fulfill the 2009 agreement."

He also says the project has more than tripled from the original estimate of $10 million.

Kelowna city manager Doug Gilchrist says those who believe something untoward is going on seem to be "purposely omitting some information."

Gilchrist says the original 2009 servicing agreement included two acknowledgements stating if traffic on Glenmore Road changed, how upgrades would be paid for would be reviewed.

That has happened, he says.

"The volumes attributable changed. At the time when the 2009 servicing agreement was put in place, there would have been larger volumes of traffic attributed, on a percentage basis, from McKinley,"said Gilchrist.

"Now, there's a much, much larger volume of traffic attributed to commuters and people who come off a network that changed because we have John Hindle Drive that was not in place back then."

He says Glenmore Road is now considered a "regionally significant road," and as such, a majority of the work will be funded by development cost charges from the development community at large.

"The taxpayer for Glenmore Road will only pay a small portion."

The 2040 Transportation Master Plan estimates four-laning Glenmore Road from Union to John Hindle Drive, and safety upgrades from John Hindle Drive to Lake Country will not be undertaken for another decade.

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