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No side say West Kelowna's city hall budget numbers are off

Image Credit: City of West Kelowna
September 08, 2016 - 2:41 PM

WEST KELOWNA - Ian Graham thinks there’s a groundswell of support to just say no to a new city hall in West Kelowna

“I went to the voting place the other day and there was all sorts of gray hairs like me interested in exercising their right, Graham says.

“I talked to a bunch of them," he says. "I have the feeling a lot of those folks are not far off from what we’re thinking.”

Grahams speaks as leader of the No side for this month’s referendum and he’s got a lot to say about the request by the City of West Kelowna to borrow $7.7 million for its share of the project.

“I’m not sure their thoughts are on solid ground,” Graham says, pointing first to the price tag.

“We believe the true price tag is $19.5 million once you include interest lost from the $7 million in reserve funds they are drawing on to help finance the project."

No accurate guage of voter sentiment is available but Graham points out the No side only has to get to about 6,500 voters and they already had 4,000 or so vote against the civic centre project during the alternative approval process.

Graham says the No side cannot afford what their counterparts are spending on open houses and other advertising.

“We don’t have that kind of cash, we’re self funding,” he adds.

They are circulating a brochure questioning the Yes side’s numbers but Graham says their primary method of getting to voters is limited to door knocking and word of mouth.

“People are interested in what we have to say,” Graham says, who also questions why the city can’t build on land it already owns in the area.

“We’re buying land we don’t need to build a city hall we can’t afford,” he adds.

West Kelowna voters got to the polls Sept. 17 to vote on the referendum question.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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