West Kelowna council advances loan bylaw for City Hall
The City’s current debt is below five per cent of its annual revenue calculation, defined by the Province of British Columbia, which allows a municipality to borrow against its revenue. This is a tool, through the Local Government Act, that allows the City to apply to borrow up to the $11 million limit allowable under the Assent Free regulations. 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 City has been saving money annually into its City Hall Reserve Fund, which is expected to be at a $7 million valuation in 2022. This, combined with a loan of up to $11 million, allows the current municipal Council to move forward with what previous Councils’ have long been championing in the past – delivering a long overdue City Hall facility for West Kelowna.
“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.”
Communication and engagement with stakeholders and the public will continue throughout the plan for City Hall, including stakeholder meetings and open houses, events and announcements, and online engagement. The public is encouraged to subscribe to receive the City’s e-updates and participate in meetings with senior staff so they may promptly address questions or concerns. The bylaw must receive provincial approval after which time Council will consider adoption.