The City of Kelowna is currently figuring out how to complete the third phase of a four-phase improvement plan for Rutland Centennial Park. —Image: Google Maps

Mayor defends work to improve Rutland Centennial Park

Colin Basran says with work done and more to do, park is already nicer than it was

Kelowna’s mayor takes exception to anyone who thinks the city is dragging its feet on re-development of Rutland Centennial Park.

Colin Basran said Monday work has been done on the park and is continuing, and he defended the city while taking a shot at the park’s former owner, the Rutland Park Society.

“The society that was running the park, ran it into the ground,” said Basran, who added the first two phases of improvements have already been completed at the park—a soccer field and an all-access playground.

At its meeting Monday, council approved $75,000 for design and development plans for the third phase of the improvements, a project slated to cost a total $500,000.

City staff will now figure out how that work can be done and paid for this year through the existing city budget.

The fourth and final phase, slated to cost $2.3 million, is scheduled to be complete by 2022.

The city had sought a federal grant to help pay for the work but the application was rejected.

In 2015, the city bought the park from the RPS for $800,000 and vowed to make improvements.

Basran said the park has jumped ahead of other park projects the city has on its books for a number of years.

And, he said, while the improvements may not be as grand as some expected, what has been done, and what will be done, have made and will make the park much nicer than it was before.

The overall plan for the park includes the now existing soccer field and all-access playground, as well as future walking paths, a multi-cultural garden, a performance stage, benches and a lit basketball court.

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