It seems as though West Kelowna’s mayor may be having second thoughts about how the district’s $25,000 Hockeyville prize money is spent.
All councillors present at the Nov. 27 council meeting voted to put the $25,000 toward the consideration of the installation of an electronic highway sign in the 2013 capital budget deliberations.
At the time, Mayor Doug Findlater said the sign could be a “community billboard that brings people together.”
But after hearing some public feedback, his view on the sign proposal may be changing.
“I sense it hasn’t been a popular position,” said Findlater.
“I’m aware of the letters and I’ve had some people I know…say, ‘I think you should do something different.'”
So far, the district has received 12 letters regarding the Hockeyville billboard. The feedback is far less than the 70 letters it received last April regarding its contentious Mobile Vending Policy, which didn’t allow ice cream trucks to play music while in West Kelowna.
Findlater said residents seem to take issue with two key points.
“People don’t want a big bold sign or people think the Hockeyville money should be directed to something more directly related to hockey,” said Findlater.
“To me, it seems like a lot of money for a sign, over and above the Hockeyville money. I’m certainly willing to take a hard look at it.”
That hard look will take place when council sits down for its annual budget deliberations in January.
“What we have to keep in context: That motion was not to go out and buy the sign and put it up…(it was) to consider it as part of overall budget deliberations. So it’s hardly a done deal.”
The mayor noted there is still a need for a highway sign directing drivers to Mount Boucherie Community Complex.
“That’s a very common complaint—people who aren’t familiar with the area can’t find the school, can’t find the arena, can’t find City Hall.
“I do think there has to be something done about that. I doubt that a $125,000 sign is the answer to that; there may very well be more modest solutions.”