District of West Kelowna council highlights for June 18
June 19, 2013 - 3:29 PM
West Kelowna Municipal Hall/Civic Centre
Council received a presentation on the results of the Market Sounding initiative completed in February and March 2013 for a new Municipal Hall/Civic Centre and made the decision to pursue Westbank Centre as the location where acceptable options will be investigated. Consultant Jonathan Huggett advised Council that many submissions were received from private citizens as well as business owners with an interest in land sale and development. In order to move to the next steps in the process, Council agreed to focus on Westbank Centre for the feasibility/implementation study phase of the project. This will involve determining acceptable sites that can accommodate the current and future space requirements for a Municipal Hall/Civic Centre. Consideration will be given to lands currently owned by the DWK, lands identified through the Market Sounding Exercise, available Crown Lands or any combination of either. A financial feasibility report will be prepared outlining the financial requirements and options for the project. It is anticipated that a report will be prepared for Council’s consideration in September 2013.
Development Cost Charges Review
Council was provided an update on the ongoing review of West Kelowna Development Cost Charges (DCCs), undertaken by consultant Leftside Partners Inc. and Neilson-Welch Consulting Inc. DCCs are fees implemented at the time of development which are meant to help municipalities recover the costs of infrastructure needed for growth ie: roads, sewage, water, drainage and parks. Council provided policy direction for the consultants which are engaged in a 10-stage review process. The consultant advised that draft DCC rates could be presented for staff and industry review this summer with recommended rates presented for public input and Ministry approval in September.
Council decided not to consider including the mooring of the Fintry Queen Paddlewheeler vessel within the scope of the CNR Wharf Park Plan and encouraged the owner of the Fintry Queen to pursue opportunities with private, commercial boating facilities. District staff have met with Andy Schwab, owner of the Fintry Queen, after his request in February to Council to allow the vessel to moor at CNR Wharf and be included in consideration of the CNR Wharf Park Plan.
Council’s CNR Wharf Park Plan does include possible inclusion of a commercial facility but is noted to require further study and public consultation. Staff advised Council of further implications with Mr. Schwab’s request including its general inconsistency with the vision and objectives of the CNR Wharf Park Plan, existing tenure agreements with the Province of BC and Co-management Agreements with Westbank First Nation, Zoning Bylaw requirements and parking implications.
Master Transportation Plan
Council was advised of the completion schedule for the Transportation Master Plan. Strategic Infrastructure Management is completing the document with links to West Kelowna’s Official Community Plan, Council’s strategic priorities and affordability. The plan will put in place a long-term strategy to guide planning and development of the District’s transportation system as well as identify transportation alternatives for users, determine affordable and sustainable levels of service and performance and balance long term investment with required maintenance, renewal and improvement to the network. The Plan is expected be complete in July with a public consultation strategy planned for the fall of 2013.
Council directed staff proceed with the distribution of the 2013 Citizens’ Survey which involves 1,000 surveys mailed to random West Kelowna property owners. The survey collects data on services provided by the District to evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness. This is the sixth consecutive statistically-accurate survey conducted by the District and results will be compared against previous outcomes. The District produces the survey in-house with only printing and mailing costs associated with the distribution. West Kelowna residents who do not receive a copy of the survey in the mail are welcome to obtain a copy from the District’s website or Municipal Hall and submit completed surveys. Although these results will not form part of the scientific sampling, they will be included in a comprehensive report to Council. The survey is expected to be ready for public distribution by June 21.
Music in the Park
Council was provided an update on the 2013 Music in the Park program, a free concert series running each Friday throughout the summer in West Kelowna’s Memorial Park, adjacent to the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre. Last year’s Music in the Park program was a great success with over 3,000 participants throughout the summer. Each Friday-night concert includes performances from a talented kid, an opening act and a headliner. The full line-up is available to view on the District’s website. New to this year’s Music in the Park series is Global Music Fest to take place Saturday, August 24 from 5 to 10 p.m. at Memorial Park.
Green Bay Drainage
Council directed staff to proceed with the establishment of a local service area for a dredging project for Green Bay, prompted by a request in March 2013 by Green Bay Property Owners’ Association. Council further directed that staff create a timeline with the financial and staff resources required to accomplish this. Council advised it was willing to administrate the establishment of a Local Service Area for the full cost of the project, approximately $360,000, but that no general tax money would be contributed towards the project. An informal survey was conducted by the GBPOA of property owners in Green Bay to poll the community on its support for the project, including funding one-third of the project as GBPOA intends to seek funding support from the provincial and federal governments. The informal poll results were presented to Council and indicate majority support to proceed.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013