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Voters say no to new West Kelowna city hall

An artist drawing of the proposed new West Kelowna municipal hall.
Image Credit: Contributed
May 05, 2016 - 2:32 PM

WEST KELOWNA - Nearly 4,000 of West Kelowna’s voters say they don’t want to loan the city millions of dollars for a new municipal hall — and that’s more than enough votes to stop council from borrowing the needed money.

A total of 3,871 valid elector response forms were submitted in opposition to the borrowing of up to $10.5 million. The votes were received through an alternative approval process, which requires only ten per cent of voters to say no.

The project was to be part of a larger 32,000-square-foot West Kelowna Civic Centre at Elliott Road. The public-private partnership would have included a city hall, an office building and two residential buildings.

The city hall portion would have cost roughly $14.8 million — up to $10.5 million would have come from taxpayers had the approval process succeeded.

Mayor Doug Findlater says council will now discuss what to do next.

“Council has certainly heard that there is opposition to the Alternative Approval Process and some questions still outstanding about the project itself,” Mayor Doug Findlater says. “Council will regroup on Tuesday and discuss next steps, but after seeing almost 15% of voters engaged with this process, there is no doubt that there is significant interest in the community about this project.”

In a release from the City of West Kelowna, Findlater says council spent three years working on the project, which they feel will 'act as a catalyst for economic development'.

The city received a total of 4,144 elector response forms of which 273 were deemed invalid.

Council will be provided a report outlining options and legislative requirements for consideration at its meeting Tuesday, May 10, which begins at 1:30 p.m. The report will be provided publicly as part of the agenda package to be released Friday, May 6. The public is invited to attend the council meeting or can watch live via webcast at the City of West Kelowna website.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 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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