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West Kelowna moving ahead with 1st city hall, avoids voter assent

Moving ahead with city hall

The City of West Kelowna is pushing ahead with a scheme to design and build its first city hall while avoiding voter assent. 

Council voted Tuesday afternoon to give the first three readings to a borrowing bylaw that will utilize a segment of the Local Government Act that will allow it to borrow up to $11M without going to a referendum or alternate approval process. 

“This tool enables the city to establish its first municipal hall without further dividing the community and cost of repeated referendums with such a close voting margin in 2016,” the municipality said in a news release Tuesday evening. 

The city has been stockpiling money into a reserve fund specifically for construction of a new city hall since it incorporated in 2007. The fund is expected to have a balance of about $7 million by 2022.

“This council listened to the community’s past concerns about moving forward with our first civic centre, and we’re continuing to incorporate feedback,” says Mayor Gord Milsom. “After 13 years on our municipal council, I am pleased that our municipal hall building would soon become a reality without new increased property taxes and within our operating budget, with no further community voting divide and without putting our other community priorities at risk.”

“We also have a number of capital projects beginning this year, including road and sidewalk improvements, along with launching our community visioning and other initiatives. As we continue to deliver on council’s priorities through 2022, above all is our priority to build the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant. That is, and will always remain, our primary focus.”

The city says multiple phases of public consultation will take place as the city hall is designed and built.

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