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More time given to Kelowna public to ponder borrowing $241M for recreation

“That’s not right we need to extend it’
Kelowna’s Parkinson Recreation Centre. (Photo/City of Kelowna)

A bid to give the public more time to consider borrowing $241 million to improve recreational facilities, fell flat at council’s regular Monday (July 24) meeting.

Coun. Gord Lovegrove said he heard plenty of public concern that the Alternative Approval Process (AAP) for input on recreation projects in Kelowna was taking place over the summer when many residents might be on holiday.

Mayor Tom Dyas said council did account for summer holidays in approving a deadline of Sept. 15.

“There was concern that originally it was going to end at the end of August,” said Dyas. “So, when that came up we said no that’s not right we need to extend it.”

Most of the $241 million will be spent on redeveloping Parkinson Recreation Centre (PRC).

READ MORE: Replacement for Kelowna’s Parkinson Rec Centre to cost $180M

Lovegrove voted in favour of Coun. Ron Cannan’s motion to move the deadline to Oct. 15.

That motion was defeated.

Cannan wanted the city to host a referendum on borrowing the money, however, a referendum comes with a hefty price tag of $150,000 to $250,000. An AAP will cost approximately $2,500.

READ MORE: Kelowna councillor wants referendum to borrow $241M for recreation

Council approved an AAP that is two weeks longer than required by the province. It would require 10 per cent (12,160) of Kelowna residents to say no for it to fail.

If that were to happen, Dyas said council would need to look at alternatives. 

“There is the option of then going to a referendum. What we’re trying to do here is gauge the temperature.”

The AAP will start being advertised through local media next week and the public will have until Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. to provide responses. Those against the borrowing bylaw must fill out a form which will be available at city hall, on the city’s website, or at PRC starting Aug. 3.

In the past, the city has used AAPs for South Perimeter Way, the RCMP Services Building, and H2O.

If approved the $241 million would be the largest amount the city has ever borrowed to fund a project.

The PRC redevelopment is expected to cost at least $180 million, with an additional $62 million for site and offsite works.

As well, $36 million has been set aside for the Glenmore and Mission activity centres, $4.5 million for Rutland Recreation Park and $5 million for partnerships with UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College.

READ MORE: Crews use creek water to knock down Kelowna Rail Trail fire


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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