West Kelowna has taken a large step forward in building a new municipal hall.
On Monday, council announced they will soon be seeking approval from residents for the funding of the West Kelowna Civic Centre, which has been proposed at 3641 Elliot Road. Since June of 2014 council has been working towards constructing a municipal hall in a partnership with Strategic Development Group.
The proposal for the Civic Centre has multiple aspects to it in addition to the municipal hall, as it also includes two residential buildings, a public plaza and a commercial office building. The city will own the municipal hall and the land it is on, while Strategic Development Group will own the rest. The Interior Health Authority is also involved in the proposal, as it has reached a tentative agreement with Strategic Development Group to lease a portion of the commercial building.
“We’re very pleased with this development and the possibility of a new, larger space for the West Kelowna Health Centre,” said Bryan Redford, community services administrator with IHA. “This larger space will allow us to continue to serve our existing clients as well as provide us with a space large enough to accommodate future growth.”
West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater is also very pleased with the project, and he highlighted IHA’s involvement as significant.
“I know I speak on behalf of all council and West Kelowna residents when I saw that we are very pleased to see this investment in our community,” Findlater noted. “The West Kelowna Civic Centre will not only house a much-needed municipal hall, but will now also be a new home to the West Kelowna Health Centre, bringing health services right into he West Kelowna downtown core, with room to grow.”
Council has set a maximum borrowing limit of $10.5 million for the municipal hall, which is projected to cost $10 million. The costs of construction will be assumed within the current ten year financial plan, which will prevent any additional tax burden on residents.
“Although complex, and at times challenging, the choice to work with a private developer, utilizing their land and a small amount of municipally owned land and sharing a vision where both the municipality and the developer come out ahead has been by far one of council’s best decision,” Findlater stated. “We are confident that, thanks to the new partnership with Interior Health and the work of Strategic Development Group, we have an excellent Civic Centre project to put before our residents.”