Rutland Parks Society president Todd Sanderson talks to society members before the park sale vote. The vote passed with 71 per cent support.

Second vote to sell Rutland Centennial Park to Kelowna passes easily

Rutland Park Society members vote 71 per cent in favour of selling the park to the city so it can be improved.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

The approach worked for the Rutland Parks Society Monday night when it held a second vote on whether to sell Rutland Centennial Park to the City of Kelowna for $800,000.

Following the failure to win approval by members of the society at an earlier vote in August, the society’s executive scheduled a second vote at its annual general meeting earlier this week.

There, thanks in large part to a doubling of the society’s membership since the August vote, the deal was approved by 71 per cent of the those eligible to vote, easily surpassing the required 50 per cent plus one requirement.

“I’m not surprised by the numbers,” said society president Todd Sanderson, adding he expected at least a 70 per cent approval based on the feedback he had received from people in the community since the last vote.

That vote, which garnered 62 per cent support failed because it required 75 per cent as it was held at a special meeting. The 75 per cent requirement is not required for votes held at the society’s AGM, according to its constitution.

The deal with the city will see Kelowna take over and improve the park, with an initial $400,000 investment and the promise of more later. The city will also get the right-of-way that is current the driveway into the park and will use it to extend Shepherd Road, home of the Rutland’s new transit hub.

The $800,000 that the society receives from the city will be used to fix up the aging adjacent Rutland Centennial Hall, which the society will keep.

Sanderson said the hall is in bad need of upgrading and only has an estimated 10 years of life left if nothing is done.

He said the society only makes enough money each year to keep the hall open, not to improve it or to maintain the park properly. As a result the park has fallen into disrepair and security guard patrol it to keep people out, Sanderson added.

The city wants to improve the park with trails, a soccer field, pickleball courts and a parkour course, as well as other amenities but has said it will consult the community first about what it would like to see in the new-look park. Sanderson also said the city has agreed to keep the park as a park in perpetuity.

But while Monday’s vote passed easily, not everyone was happy.

Some in the crowd of close to 300, 218 of whom were eligible to vote,  complained about potential safety problems with a road right beside the park, while others were concerned about parking once the city takes over the driveway, where there is currently parking for the hall and the park.

Sanderson said the plan is to re-orient the hall to face the Roxby Parking lot, a city-owned lot that has 50 stalls. The lot, to be improved by the city, will also become home to carnival rides that are popular during the annual Rutland May Days celebration.

The fate of the flea market held at the Rutland Centennial Hall was also addressed at the meeting. Sanderson said the market will take this winter off to regroup and come back as a bigger and better community market next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Kelowna Vegan Festival takes over the Rotary Centre

The plant based creations stem from wanting to create a product that brings people together

Where to find the best ingredients for a vegan charcuterie board in the Okanagan

It’s warming up, pair your summer whites with a vegan charcuterie creation

UPDATE: West Kelowna fire deemed suspicious, crews dousing hot spots

Boucherie fire quiet overnight, mop-up continues, while evacuees have returned home.

Airbnb hosts earning millions in the Okanagan

The Okanagan was among the list of three Canadian wine markets.

Rolling into Bike to Work Week

Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna will all be rolling into Bike to Work week

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

B.C. to spent $181M to create 200 general practitioner jobs

Jobs will go to new medical school graduates

Vernon company wins Ozone best production

Powerhouse Theatre’s Calendar Girls will move on to the Theatre BC Mainstage Festival

Host AquaJets fly at long course invitational

Kelowna swim club wins team title at annual spring meet at H2O

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Most Read