FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2018
Local State of Emergency
Council endorsed a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) called on March 23 in response to flooding in the community after torrential rain on March 22. Significant and localised rainfall impacted much of the community and City Public Works, Parks and Fire crews worked into the night to protect public infrastructure. Key areas of concern were Smith Creek adjacent to Gellatly Road and Lower Glenrosa Road. The SOLE was put in place to allow the City to work on private property in order to protect public infrastructure. Currently, Lower Glenrosa Road remains closed as repairs are underway to the roadway and adjacent slope structure. Crews remain on flood alert as spring freshet continues.
Garbage Collection & Tipping Fees Increases
During 2018 Budget preparation, City of West Kelowna was informed by the City of Kelowna that there would be an 31% increase in tipping fees at the Glenmore Landfill effective January 1, 2018. A review of the solid waste operational needs by the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) also indicates that cart replacement costs have increased. Due to these increased expenditures, the offsetting result is the need to increase user fees to cover these costs. The proposed new rate is $49.74 per quarter. The new rate would allow the City of West Kelowna to cover the increased costs of the tipping fees; replacement costs of new bins; budget for the repayment of the internal loan for the purchase of the garbage, recycling, and yard waste gins; and set up a reserve to equalise the expense of replacing bins along with any other unforeseen costs. Council was also advised that RDCO will be increasing tipping fees at the Westside Transfer Station for the next three years.
Council authorised the issuance of a Development Permit to construct two four-storey apartment buildings with 140 units and underground and surface parking located at 3641 Elliott Road. The 140 units include seven three-bedroom, 63 two-bedroom and 70 one-bedroom apartments. Indoor amenity space is provided on each floor, outdoor amenity space is provided on the roof of the buildings, and a statutory right of way for pedestrian access connects Elliott Road to the existing spine pathway located on the adjacent Heritage development property.
After changes to the Province of BC’s Speculation Tax were announced this week, and West Kelowna’s request to be excluded from the tax was not approved, Council agreed to continue to lobby the Province to be exempted from the tax. The Province of BC announced last month it would be implementing a Speculation Tax targeting foreign and domestic property owners in areas of BC, including West Kelowna. Council is requesting that West Kelowna be excluded from the tax, arguing that the community is unique given it is only 10 years old and does not have reserves in place to fund important infrastructure upgrades. West Kelowna relies on growth to fund important projects, and Council is concerned that the tax will slow development in the community, reduce property values, impact tourism revenues, and result in job losses and a slowdown of the economy. It also creates an uneven playing field with neighbouring communities that are not impacted by the tax. Council requested the Mayor write to Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James to reiterate West Kelowna’s interest in being excluded from the tax and to request a face-to-face meeting with the Premier. Council further agreed that if the Province maintains the tax as announced, Council direct the Mayor to request that the Province provide an economic impact report before the tax is implemented.