New city hall options discussed for West Kelowna staffers

What should West Kelowna do to address the needs of city staff. Here's a preview of what will be discussed Tuesday.

What to do with West Kelowna city staff will be addressed at a Tuesday meeting

The city of West Kelowna went back to the drawing board and found six new ways to house its staff  and move beyond the Sept. 17 referendum, where the electorate nixed the controversial plan to build a new city hall in old downtown.

“The City of West Kelowna’s current municipal hall facility is at capacity,” CAO Jim Zaffino wrote in  report to council  that will be discussed at their Tuesday meeting, highlighting that  something still needs to be done for city staffers.

“The City currently has $7.1 million within its financial plan to put towards meeting the requirement for an efficient municipal facility.”

Zaffino lays out six options that range from improving the current municipal hall to leasing space.

The first option would have staff investigating temporary improvements to the current Municipal hall site at 2760 Cameron Road.

“This option would consider the possibility of a built expansion to the former community hall where municipal operations are housed, possibly incorporating the adjacent Royal LePage Place building and/or the provision of more portable structures.

The next option has city  staff starting the process of building a new city hall within Westbank Centre. They’d buy the land and  build a facility in phases. On the existing site, portables would be added.

“This option would require the continuing use of the Cameron Road facility and portables on the site until all phases of the new City Hall are constructed,” write Zaffino.

The third option would see city staff look into building land within West Kelowna, not focusing solely on the Westbank area.

This approach would also require the existing site to be bolstered with portables.

The fourth option would see the city reach a leasing agreement with  the Interior Health Authority for phased in municipal office construction.

Zaffino writes that the city hall could then be built in phases, with the intention that IHA would lease a portion of the first phase of the building to help offset costs.

IHA would be responsible for undoing improvements it would need for its service and the city would provide the building.

Zaffino said that the health authority has expressed an interest in exploring that option.

The fifth option considers developing the City Works Yard at 2515 Bartley road.

This option would allow operational crews from the City’s Parks Operations and utilities operations to move to a new consolidated works yard.

“The Elliott Road and the Bartley Road office locations would then be available for council’s future consideration,” reads the report. “Staff will investigate the feasibility of moving staff from the current municipal hall facility to the new works yard as part of this option to alleviate space concerns at the facility.”

And last but not least, staff would look into leasing space.

The cost of each option will differ, but all can be funded from reserves, said Zaffino.