West Kelowna wants to build a soccer dome similar to the one in Kelowna.—Image: Kelowna United

West Kelowna wants to build a soccer dome similar to the one in Kelowna.—Image: Kelowna United

West Kelowna council goes with more expensive soccer dome

Despite the price tag tripling, council says the project is worth proceeding with

Despite the cost ballooning to $3.1 million from the original estimate of $1 million, West Kelowna is proceeding with plans for a soccer dome.

And it is dumping several long-term capital projects to free up money to pay for the inflatable dome and artificial turf field it will cover.

“The yardstick should be moved forward on this,” said Mayor Doug Findlater earlier this week when city council revisited the issue after deferring it during the 2018 budget deliberations.

One of the major drivers for council’s approval is a $667,667 donation available from the Westside Minor Soccer Association to help pay for the project.

Six items from the city’s 10-year capital plan—all of which were slated for completion between 2022 and 2024—were dropped to find money for the soccer dome. The projects include improvements at other sports fields, such as lights and washrooms, and improvements to other city parks.

Staff said the reason the cost has increased for the dome was because the site will have to be serviced and the facility must be built to a higher and safer standard than was originally proposed because of municipal liability.

The city has yet to make a final agreement with the soccer association concerning future use of the dome, but city manager Jim Zaffino said he did not expect that would be a problem.

But Findlater said the association has “not been easy to talk to” in the past, noting the discussions have been ongoing for the last two years.

In addition to the reserves slated for the disbanded projects, the city will use $43,000 in gas tax revenue to pay for the soccer dome. It also plans to also seek grants to try to offset the cost.

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