No jail for the Westside
West Kelowna will not be entering the running to have a correctional centre built in the area.
Mayor Doug Findlater said his own view is that the best thing to do is to support the work done in the past in the City of Kelowna where land has been acquired, and get on with it.
He added the particular site is appropriate and moving forward on the new facility will benefit the district by relieving pressure on Kelowna cells that could back up on the West Kelowna detachment.
Findlater pointed out West Kelowna only averages three prisoners a month transferred to correctional facilities.
Coun. Bryden Winsby said he had supported the district getting on the list for consideration as a possible site for the centre, but thought the possibility of it being built in West Kelowna remote. “I think the prospects of us putting a proposal together are somewhat limited, let alone nonexistent.”
Winsby said the province should consider communities that need the facility most. He added his preference would be Lumby and area.
“Those communities have suffered greatly because of the recent downturn, and have lost many employers.”
Coun. Carol Zanon noted she did not think West Kelowna would even be in the running for consideration. She said the district should examine what would suit their needs and their police department’s needs the best.
Coun. Rosalind Neis said she would be surprised if there was any interest in our community in pursuing a jail within district borders.
She added it would be inappropriate for the district to throw themselves behind one or the other proposal, as there is history involved they may not be aware of.
She pointed out when the facility was initially discussed for the site in Kelowna, times were rich and business was booming. She added that now the construction industry is facing more difficult times.