Boucherie Road at Ogden Road, part of the stretch to be improved as part of the planned Wine Trail work in West Kelowna.—Image credit: Google Maps.

West Kelowna delays tendering Boucherie Road work

Prospect of cheaper construction costs in the winter prompts council’s delay.

West Kelowna is holding off putting the second phase of its Boucherie Road upgrade project out to tender until the end of 2017.

City council received an update on the design and construction timeline for the second phase of the Wine Trail upgrade to Boucherie Road Tuesday and made the decision to hold off issuing the tender until it feels it can get a better deal on construction costs.

The project, estimated to cost $5 million, along with a related water main replacement project estimated at $1.25 million, is in the final stages of design with ICBC reviewing the proposal for safety considerations.

Construction is expected to take up to a year and the city says with the current busy construction market, it is expected to yield what city hall describes as “unfavourable” pricing.

So, instead of seeking tenders for the road work and the water main replacement now, council has authorized a plan to issue the tender for the road and water main work, from Stuart to Ogden Roads in Lakeview Heights, this winter to achieve the best pricing.

The work is slated to start in 2018, pending the successful awarding of the tender.

In other West Kelowna council news:

• Council has directed city staff to keep the gates closed at Menu Road/Pinot Gris Drive and McCallum Road/Pinot Noir Drive in Lakeview Heights, and further investigate the merits of an automated gate at the Menu Road/Pinot Gris Drive location. Staff will bring a budget request to council for the installation if warranted.

The move is a win for area residents, who did not want to see their road opened up to through traffic. Spokesman for the residents Stephen Tuck said they were happy with council’s decision.

An automated gate would allow emergency access and public works vehicles through the gate but would not open it to regular traffic.

The decision was made following a strong turnout by area residents at a public hearing on the issue earlier this year.

The opening of the gates for through traffic was not recommended as Menu and McCallum Roads are both seen as geometrically constrained and upgrading them to collector road design standard would not be feasible.

• The city has awarded a construction contract for upgrading the East Boundary and Casa Rio lift stations to Maple Reinders. The project has been tendered for $1.46 million.

The structures require upgrades according to the B.C. Building Code. The city received a grant through the federal Clean Water and Waste Water Fund of $648,000 for the project.

• Changes to the city’s 2017 budget may change the financial bottom line but it won’t change the proposed three per cent increase to property taxes this year.

Council rescinded it’s previously approved third reading of the Financial Plan bylaw and gave third reading again after amending the capital budget to include capital carry forwards and operational budget items from last year.

The proposed tax increase will remain at the same three percent approved by council in January following its acceptance of the provisional budget. The 2017 budget is expected to be adopted before May 15 in keeping with provincial legislation.

• West Kelowna residents will be asked what they think about how the city is run and the level of services provided in the 2017 Citizens’ Survey, to be mailed out to 1,000 randomly-selected West Kelowna property owners in the coming weeks.Survey’s must be returned to the city by May 31.

This year’s survey will be the tenth West Kelowna has circulated since it incorporated in 2007.

The survey is the only anonymous, statistically-accurate polling of West Kelowna citizens that takes place each year, says city hall.

As well as mailing out the survey to the selected property owners, it will also be available on West Kelowna’s website for any member of the public to print and complete. Copies will also be available at city hall.

• West Kelowna council now has a financial incentive to help build a soccer dome in the city.

Council was told Tuesday, the Westside Youth Soccer Association has received a grant from the province to be put towards construction of the dome in the community. The city will contribute $137,000 for planning and design, and $333,000 for construction, as well as provide the required land. The entire project is estimated to cost $1.5 million. Staff will work with representatives of the association to determine best location and report back to council.

• The city says it will sponsor the Community and Public Service Award as part of the Greater Westside Board of Trade’s 2017 Key Business Awards. The $1,000 award will be presented during the awards gala Nov. 2.

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