As it winds down is current three-year mandate, Kelowna city council is congratulating itself on what it considers a job well done.
A report to council on how the city has responded to the list of council priorities set out three years ago when it was sworn in, shows many projects have been completed, others are well on their way to completion while work has started on longer term goals as well.
The report, presented by city manager Ron Mattiussi, included completed planning for priority projects such as a mobile service requests program, the Pandosy Waterfront Plan, the planned new technology centre to be built beside the downtown Kelowna library, the Bernard Avenue revitalization project, the design of John Hindle Drive, the first phase of the Gordon Drive frequent transit network, planning for the new Interior Health office building downtown, a city-wide parking management strategy, plans for the expanion of one dowtown parkade and the construction of another and planning and approvals for a new major hotel at the foot of Queensway on the downtown waterfront.
Projects where “significant” progress has been made include waterfront development, an increased focus on economic development, Rutland Town Centre revitalization, the planned new police services building on Cawston Avenue in the North End, protection of the abandoned CN Rail corridor through the central and north Okanagan and continuing sales of land at the Central Green site.
Projects listed as in progress include a new parkland acquisition strategy, plans for a new waterfront tourism centre, public consultation on a cycling and pedestrian master plan and a provincial commitment to identifying a corridor and planning for a second crossing of Okanagan Lake.
“It’s been a very busy three years,” Mattiussi told council “But I think you have achieved what you asked for.”
Noting that all councils complete work planned by previous councils, the city manager said this council was no different. But there were individual projects, such as the Interior Health building that came up during the term and have been planned quickly by this council.
Councillors were quick to note the successes, with outgoing long-time Coun. Robert Hobson saying partnerships have helped the city stretch the municipality’s assets, along with the use of reserve funds.
He said every time a council contributes to reserves it is helping a future council pay for a project.
Several other councillors noted how well they and their colleagues worked together, with one, Coun. Luke Stack, comparing the council to a team of horses — nine individuals who are all pulling together in the same direction.