Despite not getting a federal grant to help pay for the work, the City of Kelowna wants to proceed with redevelopment of Rutland Centennial Park. —Image: Google Maps

No federal grant, no problem when it comes to Rutland Centennial Park

The City of Kelowna plans to proceed on its own with redevelopment of the popular park

Kelowna may not have received the Canada 150 grant it wanted to develop Rutland Centennial Park, but that is not stopping it from proceeding with the work.

City staff is asking council to approve taking $75,000 from reserves to develop design and construction documents for phase three of the park work, with the remaining $425,000 to be costed out before the city finalizes its 2018 budget next month.

“For the phase three works, staff are proposing a scope of work similar to the previous grant application,” says a staff report going to council Monday. “The cost estimate for phase three is $500,000.”

In 2015, Rutland Centennial Park was sold to the City of Kelowna by the non-profit Rutland Park Society for $800,000. The society kept the Rutland Centennial Hall and is currently renovating it.

The agreement to sell the park included a city commitment to develop it into a community park, complete with amenities such as paved pathways, multi-cultural garden space, sports fields and a performance stage.

Phases one and two of the park’s redevelopment took place in 2016 and 2017, and it now includes a soccer pitch, an inclusive playground, asphalt pathways, picnic tables, and benches.

Last year, the city applied for a federal sesquicentennial grant of $350,000 to continue with work on the popular park but was unsuccessful.

The grant application included an expansion of the existing playground, a multi-cultural garden area, an entry plaza, park signage, additional asphalt pathways and site furnishings such as bike racks, picnic tables, benches and trash receptacles, all in alignment with the overall park master plan.

When the grant was not approved, continuation of the park’s redevelopment was temporarily deferred by council.

While development of Rutland Centennial Park was not included as a 2018 capital budget request, council did direct city staff to report back with a proposed scope of work and associated cost to continue redevelopment of the park.

Phase four, the full build-out of the park, would include a performance stage, basketball courts, lighting, paved pathways, washroom building, drinking fountain and additional landscaping and shade trees.

That work is currently estimated at $2.3 million and will be identified in the city’s 10-year capital plan as a top priority in 2022.

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