Alternative Approval Process ongoing for road construction

A proposed infrastructure project in Kelowna's Crawford neighbourhood is relying on public support to proceed.

The city is proposing that it fund the South Perimeter Road construction using development cost charges, which are paid by developers when new projects are built.

But because it'll likely take more than five years to collect enough money, the city is leading an Alternative Approval Process, which allows people the chance to officially register their disapproval.

Real Estate Manager Johannes Säufferer says Kelowna would fund the project by deferring future revenue from development cost charges.

"Development cost charges are revenues generated by the city, through the development process," he said. 

"So when someone subdivides a lot, or when they add density to a lot, the city charges development cost charges for things like sewer, water, and transporation. And (we) collect those to basically fund the growth."

He says unlike most projects that go through the AAP, the city's not planning to borrow.

"We don't believe the AAP is necessarily intended for this, because we're not taking on debt, we're just making a commitment to repay the contractor using future revenues," he said.

"But because it's a project that's a liability on the financial books, and because it's going to take more than five years, likely, to repay, we are kind of bound to go through this process."

By funding the project using those DCC's, it means the city would avoid taking on debt, along with having to raise taxes to pay for it.

The AAP will conclude at 4 pm on March 16.

"After that, the clerk's office tabulates the forms to determine how many electors submitted a response that they're against it. If it's below a 10% threshold, then council has the authority to proceed with South Perimeter Road agreement."

The cost of construction would be roughly $9.2 million, and would take 5-7 years to repay.