West Kelowna  

Sewer project closed, wine route open

One ribbon, two openings.

The District of West Kelowna celebrated the end of a massive four-year sewer service project while at the same time opened the municipality's newest road upgrade.

"Our newly-incorporated municipality was facing quite an uphill battle in 2008, inheriting a Sewer Servicing Strategy that we simply could not accomplish without help," Mayor Doug Findlater stated at Friday's opening.

"Our federal and provincial partners really came through for this municipality and the two funding commitments we received meant we could pursue the project."

Total cost of the four-year sewer project came in at about $26M, $11.1M of which came from Building Canada Fund grants.

About $5.1M of that came after Oak Bay defaulted on grant monies for a project they were unable to go ahead with.

Findlater says the funding means about 1,500 residents waiting to hook up to the newly completed sewer lines will pay approximately $8,400 per connection as opposed to the $18,500 per household it would have cost without government support.

"It feels very good for council and the municipal staff to have this, by and large, behind us," says Findlater who adds there are a few more more small sewer projects that need to be done, "but those are in the dozens and not the thousands of connections."

The final phase of the sewer project took place along a 1.3km stretch of Boucherie Road from Hayman Road to Stuart Road.

Along with closing the books on a large sewer project, Findlater also officially re-opened the stretch of Boucherie Road which was re-built to a 'much higher' Wine Route standard.

"I think this shows the community what we want to do although this is of the highest standard compared with some of the others," says Findlater.

"But the commitment to roads, sidewalks and bike lanes are there as are lights where it makes sense. It shows we are going to do it but it's going to take time."

The new route includes sidewalks along one side and bike paths. There is a treed boulevard down the centre laid with artificial grass as opposed to sod.

Findlater says the plan is to eventually upgrade Boucherie Road to this same standard from Highway 97 all the way to Gellatly Road.

"The major artery along our waterfront will all be done to this standard over 20 years."

Future phases of the project will be constructed as funds become available.

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