West Kelowna  

City hall borrowing denied

West Kelowna council will have to go to Plan B if it hopes to construct a new city hall as proposed on Elliott Road.

The city's attempt to borrow up to $10.5 million through an Alternative Approval Process has failed.

More than the 10 per cent of eligible voters required to halt the borrowing registered their disapproval.

In all, 3,871 valid elector response forms were submitted in opposition. The 10 per cent threshold was 2,603. More than 4,100 elector forms were submitted, however, 273 were deemed invalid.

“Council has certainly heard that there is opposition to the Alternative Approval Process and some questions still outstanding about the project itself,” said Mayor Doug Findlater.

“Council will regroup on Tuesday and discuss next steps, but after seeing almost 15 per cent of voters engaged with this process, there is no doubt that there is significant interest in the community about this project.”

The city hall project is part of a larger civic centre, which is to include office space Interior Health has already agreed to lease for a consolidated health centre, along with two residential buildings.

“Council has put a great deal of thought into this project, spending over three years working towards our goals for our new city hall, which we believe will act as a catalyst for economic development in our downtown core and provide opportunity for expanded health services, which we need in West Kelowna."

“But we obviously have some new considerations given this result, and as always, we will share our intentions with the public at every step.”

The city can still go ahead with the borrowing initiative if it receives approval through a city-wide referendum.

Council will review a report outlining options available to it at next Tuesday's meeting.


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