Capturing the city’s progress on major projects, delivery of programs and services and strong financial management, Kelowna’s 2017 Annual Report, titled Stronger Together, was reviewed and approved by Kelowna council Monday.
According to the city, the report encompasses the efforts made by Kelowna with partners and residents to be stronger as a collective group.
In addition to the financial statements, it demonstrates how the has served residents, businesses and visitors by being a well-run city, say finance department staff.
“Reflecting on 2017, we saw our community come together in multiple ways, showing its true strength,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.
“We surmounted unprecedented flooding that caused more than $10 million in damages to public infrastructure and launched the development of a strategy to address homelessness in support of our most vulnerable residents. We also celebrated our vibrant arts and culture scene and made investments in active transportation, technology and infrastructure that positions us well for a sustainable future.”
Describing itself as a fiscally responsible municipality, the City of Kelowna says it provides core services, maintains existing infrastructure and builds new amenities when needed.
The adoption of the 2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan, including receiving a $43.9 million federal-provincial grant for the project, and the opening of the new $48 million RCMP headquarters to centralize police services were significant projects for the city last year.
There was also the addition of 700 parking spots downtown with the new Memorial Parkade and the nearby Library Parkade expansion and the emergence of a collective vision for our community with Imagine Kelowna.
The city invested $88 million in capital expenditures last year. Of that, $22 million was used to the expand Kelowna International Airport, including a new outbound baggage facility that will help the more than 1.9 million passengers that now pass through the terminal each year.
Additional capital expenses included:
• $17 million for public infrastructure including road paving and parks maintenance
• $21 million for strategic land acquisitions
• $11.6 million for buildings (the majority for the completion of the new Police Services building on Clement Avenue)
• $8 million for machinery and equipment.
Kelowna’s population grew to 129,500 in 2017. To support the needs of the growing city, $262 million in operating costs helped ensure the consistent delivery of services that residents enjoy and expect, says the report.
In the 2017 Citizen Survey, 90 per cent of residents said they are satisfied with the level and quality of city services, and 84 per cent said they receive good value for their taxes.
“The Annual Report showcases the great work done by those who serve the city wholeheartedly, with skill and with passion,” says Mayor Basran.
For 15 consecutive years, the city has received the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association, considered the highest standard in clear and transparent financial reporting.
The City has has also received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 16 consecutive years from the same association for its annual budget.
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