If the first day of advance voting in the West Kelowna city hall referendum is any indication, interest in the issue is high.
According to the city, 1,597residents—out of 26,034 eligible voters—cast ballots in the first of two advance polls held Wednesday.
A second advance poll will be held Sept. 13 at the Westbank Lions Community Centre at 2466 Main Street in Westbank from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
General voting day is Sept. 17, when voters can cast ballots between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at Const. Neil Bruce Middle School, George Pringle Elementary School, Glenrosa Middle School and Mar Jok Elementary School in Rose Valley.
West Kelowna residents are being asked if they approve of the city borrowing $7.7 million to help pay for a new $14 million city hall building in the Westbank area of the city. The rest of the money required for the project would come from city reserves.
The new city hall would be part of a larger complex that would include three privately owned buildings—one commercial and two residential. The city hall would be owned by the city and would include a civic plaza.
West Kelonwa’s existing municipal offices at the Mt. Boucherie Recreation Complex would then be returned for use as part of the recreation complex. The city says it has outgrown those premises and need more space for the staff of a growing city.
Opponents of the city hall plan say they feel the timing is not right, the cost is too high and the location is wrong.