Water and Hydro, Key Focus' for Milsom

West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom outlined the city’s anticipated growth to the Greater Westside Board of Trade, in the state of the city address.

 While many positive changes are underway, external obstacles are posing challenges to get the ball rolling on certain projects.

BC Hydro recently delayed a transmission line for a second power source in West Kelowna, choosing to reinforce the current line instead.

The project was supposed to provide residents with a backup power source in the event that a natural disaster, like a wildfire or landslide, cuts them off from service.

Council was extremely unhappy with the decision and will express their concerns to BC Hydro on April 16th.

“We’ll be asking some serious questions about the risks involved and why have they now changed their approach. They say it’s a cost factor. What parts of the costs have gone up? It’s very, very concerning,” Milsom told AM1150’s Early Edition.

The Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant was another issue mentioned that the City continues to struggle with.

West Kelowna received a $41-million grant from the government last year to fund the project but they could not acquire the desired land.

This prompted the purchase of 24 acres of private land at the end of Bartley road in early March for $915,000.

The project was finally set to commence after being delayed back in 2018.

 “We thought we’d have a window at the end of March to start knocking trees down and then we got a message that there was a den of endangered species of snakes in the area. Now we’re in bird nesting season so we have to wait until that period is over,” said Milsom.

He remains positive about the future of West Kelowna, highlighting many areas of the City’s growth.

There are over 40 development projects currently in progress; city council is working on building its relationship with Westbank First Nations on April 15th and a new Situation Table will be launched to connect supportive agencies with those in need.