Letter: Abundant empty space for West Kelowna council, staff to lease

Leasing the needed space now would defer the burden of the proposed construction costs well into the future.

To the editor:

It would appear that the West Kelowna council has a problem with the evident wishes of its residents, regarding the spending of $10 million plus on a new city hall. [A referendum approved by West Kelowna council Tuesday, June 14, will ask for approval to borrow $7.7 million. See West Kelowna Civic Centre Will Go to Referendum.]

Is anyone in City Hall paying attention to the 500 lb. gorilla in the room?

No one is saying that city hall has not outgrown its existing facility or denying them new offices to carry on the work.   What is being said is to look at other options available outside of the usual borrow, spend and tax tunnel vision program.

West Kelowna has a relatively small land mass and tax base when compared to similar-sized communities.  We are neighbours to the WFN which has substantial holdings and a lucrative income based on its commercially developed properties.  A visitor to West Kelowna could be forgiven for assuming that all land from Gorman’s Mill to the bridge, is all City of West Kelowna.

The residents that signed the [alternative approval process] petition, and many more who couldn’t/didn’t, want our City Hall administrators to get hold of this fact and start thinking outside the box.  The cavalier attitude of this council toward the taxpayer’s legitimate concerns, is alarming.

One option that is available is the old Zellers building—loads of space, central to our community and easy access with plenty of parking.  Why not a triple net lease for 15 to 20 years with improvements thrown in?

How about Estate Square? Again a brand new (15-year-old), four-storey office tower that has never been occupied, along with the empty Sears building next to it?  Why borrow and build when we can lease?

Leasing the needed space now would defer the burden of the proposed construction costs well into the future, giving the community a chance to grow and be better able to shoulder the cost of the proposed splendiferous new city hall.

Is anyone listening?

Brian R. Mellis, West Kelowna

 

Just Posted

Documentary series features local wineries and restaurants

Quest Out West Wild Food launches Jan. 18

West Kelowna looking at three per cent tax increase

Council grapples with 2018 budget, rejects addition of more cops, firefighters

Tech funding announced for Kelowna post-secondary institutions

UBCO and Okanagan College are getting funding to expand their tech programs

Arbitrated settlement for Kelowna jail guards

Details of arbitration settlement in contract dispute not released

Kelowna art exhibition showcases connection to environment

The opening of Blue Renew – art:debris is Jan. 18

The snow capped hills around Carr’s Landing

Andre Paris has posted another drone video showcasing Lake Country’s beauty

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

UPDATE: Highway reopened following fatal crash south of Armstrong

Highway 97A crash south of Pleasant Valley cross road near Spallumcheen claims a life

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Canadian junior captain returns to Rockets lineup

Dillon Dube will be back in Kelowna’s lineup Wednesday night after world juniors and bout of flu

Most Read