Letter: P3 already costing West Kelowna big penalty money

Here’s a novel idea. How about living within our means?

To the editor:

Did you happen to catch Mayor Findlator of West Kelowna on the news last week explaining that he and council had decided to go ahead with a referendum on the new city hall proposal? [Referendum Option for Civic Centre Approved by (West Kelowna) Council, May 11 Kelowna Capital News.]

As well, he said, they would be seeking an extension from the province to the 80-day period in which, by law, it must be held.

What he failed to mention, and the media failed to enquire about, is that our “partner,” Strategic Development Group, is slapping us, the taxpayers, with a penalty of $18,000 a month. By the time the referendum is held in September, this will total over $70,000.

How do you like that? We haven’t even given approval to this contract and already they’re billing us.

This really boils my turnips. Talk about putting the squeeze on.

Just who are we getting into bed with? And just how does this bode for the future of the proposed long term relationship with this developer?

If Mr. Trump was running things around here he would have two words for those who negotiated this contract on our behalf and you know what they are.

As well…these Public Private Partnerships or P3s are not in the publics’ interest. They cost significantly more than if governments just put up the money themselves and hired contractors to build the same infrastructure under conventional contracts.

Strategic Development Group stands to make a ton of money—they do not care from whom just as long as they get a big pay out.

Here’s a novel idea. How about living within our means?

With run-away debt in this province and country what kind of message is city hall sending to its residents by insisting on borrowing millions when we don’t need to. Do we really want to go down the path of Kelowna which spends $11 million annually on debt servicing?

We have the land already and we have the money in the bank. When the time is right we can build an affordable city hall for our dedicated civil employees in a more central location that would not financially burden future generations.

Jason Bednar, Westbank

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