Norm Letnick

Letnick: Have your say about local capital spending

We’re fortunate in the Central Okanagan that such a great collaborative relationship exists between residents and the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

The many significant capital projects recently completed in our area are testament to this.

The list of recently completed projects is a long one, which includes the William R. Bennett bridge, the Gordon Drive bridge and the UBC Clinical Teaching Facility. Here are some others: The H20 Adventure Fitness Centre, Dr. new Knox Middle School, the Chute Lake elementary school, the Centre for Learning at Okanagan College, the UBC clinical teaching facility, the Willowbridge transitional housing building, the Dayton Street pedestrian and bicycle overpass connecting the Parkinson Recreation Centre and the Landmark building across Highway 97 and the climbing lane up Walker Hill on Highway 33.

On top of this, there are 14 other major capital projects currently underway.

Worth nearly $1.3 billion, these projects provide well-paying jobs and are investments in local health care, higher education and infrastructure. Three of them will also help those in need.

All of these capital projects will improve our communities, but our population growth means that there is always more to be done.

That is why I, along with my colleagues MLAs Ben Stewart and Steve Thomson, consulted last year with community leaders about their priorities for further provincial investment. We will work to realize all of these, as well as other capital and operating needs of our area.

But scarce resources mean not all capital projects that are wanted can be delivered at the same time. That’s why we are seeking your input to help decide the top priorities for our region.

You may have already received the newsletter that the three of us sent out inviting you to have your say.

The last page lists 17 capital projects that were suggested by community leaders.

Already our offices have received many responses. I hope you will reply soon if you have not already done so, because the deadline is Jan. 31.

For those who have not have received the newsletter, it is posted on the home page of al of our websites.

Just click on the picture of the William R. Bennett Bridge and you will see an online survey form at the bottom of the page, as well as a link to the newsletter mentioned above. If you don’t have Internet at home, feel free to drop by one of our offices to pick up a copy.

I have a second slide on my home page titled, “What are your Capital priorities?” It takes you to a video that gives an overview of some recently completed projects, projects underway and all of the projects proposed.

Please take some time to carefully consider the list of potential projects on the last page of the newsletter and let us know your top five priorities.

If you feel a worthy capital project is missing from the list, click “other” in one of the survey boxes and let us know.

We have built a great community, but to make it even greater we need your input.

Norm Letnick is the Liberal MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country.

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