Kelowna accepts Rutland Centennial Park offer

City to pay $800,000 for park and driveway, while the Rutland Parks Society will use the money to upgrade adjacent community hall.

As expected, with a vote by Rutland Parks Society members of 71.3 per cent in favour of selling Rutland Centennial Park to the city, Kelowna council has accepted the offer.

The deal, based on a memorandum of understanding negotiated between the city and the parks society, will see Kelowna buy the park and the adjacent wide driveway for $800,000, which the society will use to upgrade the park hall. The society will continue to own and operate the hall.

While the park will be improved and recreational amenities added, the wide park driveway will become an extension of Shepherd Road where the city has built Rutland transit bus hub.

The park membership voted in favour of the deal last week at the society’s AGM after the first vote on the deal failed to win the required level of support back in August.

As part of the deal, the city has pledged to keep the park a park in perpetuity and spend $400,000 next year to fix it up . It says more money will be spent on the park in future.

The park, considered a central focus of the downtown Rutland area, has fallen into disrepair in recent years and is not often used anymore because of its poor condition, say parks society officials.

The city plans to close the deal by December and start working on improvement to the park next year.