To the editor:
Despite the hard work and dedication of a group of citizens who successfully solicited enough support to deny city council’s alternate approval process for a new city hall, the need for a city hall still stands.
I’m not sure why people were against the proposal for a new city hall. Was it considered not needed, or a wrong location, or misuse of taxes, or too fancy, or all of the above? Whatever the perceived reason or reasons, the bottom line still remains that the City of West Kelowna needs to build a city hall.
Council`s decision to go to a full referendum will enable us to find out what most people think about this issue.
The current hall location is a misuse of a community recreation facility and does not provide adequate space for city administration. Staff cannot be expected to perform with full efficiency without a good working area. Locating a new city hall in the town centre area would not only provide the needed space but have the added benefit of kick starting development in the town centre. Everyone would benefit from strong development in the town centre which would ultimately lessen taxes in residential areas.
There is no need to raise taxes to pay off a loan for a new city hall. The current tax level is enough because existing loans are being paid off thus freeing money to pay for a new loan for the city hall. Also very important is the fact that current low interest rates capitalize on avoiding projected higher future interest costs
Considering what has been presented at public information sessions on the project it is apparent that council and staff have done their due diligence in getting the best deal for the community regarding a new city hall/community centre. Partnering with Interior Health and responsible developers reduce our costs and provide added benefits to the community. They’ve negotiated sound deals which are time limited and could be lost if there are delays.
So here we are. Let’s get on for a promising future and vote for a new city hall.
Len Novakowski, West Kelowna