Say nothing if you want the District of West Kelowna to become a city

The District of West Kelowna will ask its resident to approve a bid for city status by having them not oppose the move.

The District of West Kelowna wants to become the City of West Kelowna.

Mayor Doug Findlater says West Kelowna will become the second city in the Central Okanagan before the end of the year.

West Kelowna started the process of changing from a district municipality to a city Wednesday after council gave staff the green light on Tuesday to start the working on meeting the requirements for the change. The change is expected to occur in the fall if the West Kelonwa residents not oppose the move.

Currently, Kelonwa is the only city in the Central Okanagan, with all the other incorporated jurisdictions being district municipalities.

“I think this is a good thing,” said Findlater. “There are benefits to being a city.”

Saying it will improve the image of the municipality, won’t confuse those who associate the District of West Kelowna with the Central Okanagan Regional District and the local school district, Findlater noted this will be the second time his municipality has tried to make the change.

A few years after incorporation, a similar request made to Victoria but was rejected by the government at that time.

But, after being told in September by Community Minister Coralee Oakes that she would support West Kelowna if it asked for the change this time, council  said it was interested but put off dealing with the issue until after November’s civic election.

On Tuesday, the new council—made up of all but two members of the previous council—made the decision to proceed.

To get public approval for the change, West Kelowna will use the alternate approval process instead of holding a much more costly referendum.

District staff say while a referendum would cost an estimated $60,000, the AAP will cost only $1,500.

The AAP requires those opposed to sign petitions in a 30-day period. If 10 per cent of eligible voters or more sign petitions, the district would have to decide to either hold a referendum on the issue or scrap the idea of becoming a city.

Findlater said he expected the change would not cost taxpayers very much money and pointed to the newly reclassified City of Maple Ridge—which was also a district municipality before being reclassified by the government. Findlater said it was his understanding it cost MapleRidge less than $4,000 to go from being a district municipality to a city.

He said here, there is no official printed district letterhead to change as the municipality’s name is embedded in computer software that prints district stationary and can easily be changed. So there would not be a cost to reprint district stationary. As for signs—both free standing and on municipal vehicles and buildings—they would be changed when they need to be renewed, said the mayor, not before. The new City of West Kelowna would retain the existing municipal logo, simply changing the word “district” to “city” when it’s printed.

 

District staff say completing the process required to make the change to city status will likely take between nine to 12 months and cost an estimated $3,000.

 

 

Just Posted

Top 5 places to take your dog in Kelowna

Here are our top five places to take your furry friend

COSAR makes Kelowna Law Day debut

The search and rescue team was on scene as Girl Guides were arrested left and right

Kelowna woman runs to beat hunger

Teri Kanner is collecting donations for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank

Battle of the concert bands in Lake Country

The annual Concert Band competition is held at Creekside Theatre April 24 to 26

Snoozed through the news? We’ve got you covered

Every Saturday, the Capital News will feature popular stories from the week

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Kamloops RCMP respond to report of dead body floating in Thompson River

Body has not been located, searches to continue as river conditions improve

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

VIDEO: 33 Oliver-area homes evacuated due to flooding

Flooding in the Sportsman Bowl area has swelled drastically over course of one week

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Most Read