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Council wants municipal hall built in Westbank Centre

West Kelowna has indicated it would prefer its future municipal hall to be built in Westbank Centre, rather than Boucherie Centre.

A formal market sounding document was issued by the district in March. A number of responses were received from both private citizens and land owners of various commercial properties in West Kelowna.

In order to move forward with the process, council was asked to decide whether they would rather see a municipal hall built in Westbank Centre or Boucherie Centre during its meeting Tuesday.

"Westbank Centre is really the only logical place to focus our discussions in terms of development of a civic centre at this point in time," said Coun. Duane Ophus.

Ophus added the district has moved the municipal hall process along quickly in recent months; however, in the big scheme of things, West Kelowna is just on schedule.

"We've been here now in this facility just over five years. We made a commitment to the community at the time we came over here that we'd be here for 10 years maximum. It's really important we move this process along…it's going to take some time."

Specific properties and locations identified in the market sounding remain confidential. There are both private and public options available.

Mayor Doug Findlater noted the site of George Pringle Elementary School was mentioned by a few residents during the market sounding process; however, the school district quickly indicated they plan on using that facility for at least another decade.

According to Findlater, the next major challenge for the district will be accumulating the dollars needed to take on such a project.

"There is absolutely nothing budgeted for this in our long-term capital plan," said Findlater.

"There are some funds being set aside to divert (the current municipal office space) back to its previous use. We do have some funds for future expenditure. But it's pretty slim pickings."

Consultant Jonathan Huggett will investigate Westbank Centre site options, prepare a financial feasibility report and is expected to report his findings back to council in September.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Twitter: @PatersonWade

 

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