Hundreds attend District of West Kelowna open house

A multipurpose open house allowed Westside residents to submit feedback on several 2013 projects and plans.

District of West Kelowna engineering technologist Kyle Reese answers questions during the district's multipurpose open house last Thursday in Royal LePage Place.

Jennay Oliver was one of hundreds of West Kelowna residents to stop by Royal LePage Place Thursday afternoon for the district’s multipurpose open house.

The event was held so residents could educate themselves and submit feedback on several 2013 projects and plans at once.

“Normally I would just go to agricultural open houses,” said Oliver, who is a full-time farmer.

“I wouldn’t necessarily go to an open house that was about waterfronts, but, I’m here, so it’s nice to see everything that’s going on.”

She added she attended Thursday to make sure her tax dollars aren’t going to waste and to find out about future plans for public spaces.

Another open house visitor, who didn’t want to be named, said she wanted to give her two cents about the district’s recent decision to give up its fight toward eliminating the downtown couplet.

“I’ve found, everywhere I’ve gone, people have said they want the couplet out. I haven’t heard one person who says they don’t,” said the visitor.

Another hot topic was proposed improvements to Brown Road.

Nancy Henderson, director of development services for the district, was answering questions and hearing feedback regarding that topic Thursday.

“I think Brown Road is a really important issue that seems to be tracking a lot of attention,” said Henderson.

She said some residents thought the scope of the project should be larger, others wanted it to be done faster and a few were concerned about the project’s price tag.

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan and the Okanagan Basin Water Board were also represented at last Thursday’s event, providing information on various issues.

“This is one-stop shopping for people,” said West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater.

“There is so much going on in terms of infrastructure plans, bylaw changes and all of the other things that are going on. Here’s a way to just put it all out there.”

He added the event was a good way for citizens to educate themselves about what’s happening on the Westside.

“If you came here and took this all in, you really learned a lot about what’s going on in West Kelowna.

“There’s no excuse to say, ‘I don’t know what’s going on,’ if people gave it an hour and came in here.”

He added the district will likely look to do similar events in the future.

Residents who were unable to attend the open house can go online to provide feedback on several of the plans and initiatives. A link to the surveys can be found under events and meetings on the municipality’s home page:

Twitter: @PatersonWade

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