FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 07, 2016
City Hall Referendum September 17
West Kelowna voters will be asked if they approve borrowing up to $7.7 million for the construction of a new City Hall at 3641 Elliott Road in a referendum to take place on Saturday, September 17.
The City of West Kelowna received approval from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development for its borrowing bylaw which was given three readings on June 14 and can now proceed with the referendum.
“We will now embark on what I believe will be another robust debate in West Kelowna, as voters decide the future of our City Hall and the West Kelowna Civic Centre Project,” says Mayor Doug Findlater. “But I hope that the debate remains respectful and focuses on the true topic at hand. We need a city hall. After much consideration we’ve placed it in the most appropriate location for our community. We’ve budgeted very carefully for this important investment and we have incorporated economic development and improved health services for the community with it. Now, we need every West Kelowna voter to vote.”
Voters will be presented with the following question on September 17:
“Are you in favour of the City of West Kelowna adopting the City of West Kelowna City Hall Project Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 0234, 2016 to authorize the borrowing of up to Seven Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars ($7,700,000.00) to be repaid over a period not exceeding 20 years, for the construction of a new City Hall and related project work?”
On June 14, Council was provided new funding options for the City Hall project. The borrowing now required is $7.7 million after the conclusion of the 2015 Financial Audit indicated a surplus of just over $2.7 million. Council agreed to apply the $1.5 million surplus in the General revenue Fund to the project and the $308,000 from the City Yards Reserve Account to the project. The move does not impact projects listed in the City’s 10 Year Capital Plan.
The proposed new City Hall is a 32,215 sq. ft., three story building which includes expansion space for future requirements which can be leased out in the interim. The City Hall is part of the larger West Kelowna Civic Centre Project which is a public-private partnership with Strategic Development Group. When constructed, the City Hall will be owned by West Kelowna taxpayers, including the land it sits on. The remainder of the site will include an office building, owned by Strategic Development Group which has secured a lease agreement with Interior Health for a consolidated health centre in the office space, and two residential buildings, also owned by Strategic Development Group. A public plaza and underground parking throughout the project is also included.
Locations of polling stations, information about mail in ballots and advance polls will be made available soon. More information on the project can be found at www.westkelownacity.ca.