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West Kelowna council highlights: April 23

April 26, 2013 - 12:22 PM

Invasive Mussels
Heather Larratt, Aquatic Biologist, spoke to Council about the need to implement a strategy to prevent the spread of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels to the Okanagan. Currently these invasive mussels are spreading rapidly in eastern Canada and the United States and there is concern they could spread to the Okanagan. The most common way the mussels spread is when boats are used in contaminated lakes, not cleaned and then used in uncontaminated lakes. The Okanagan Basin Water Board is encouraging local governments to lobby senior levels of government to take immediate action to prevent the spread of the invasive mussels to the Okanagan and all un-infested parts of Canada.

Wood First Motion
Council passed the following motion in support of the Wood First Act.

WHEREAS BC's forest industry as an integral part of the District of West Kelowna is developing new markets and new opportunities for wood products as a long-term strategy for a sustainable wood industry;

AND WHEREAS the BC Government has passed a Wood First Act to facilitate a culture of wood by requiring the use of wood as the primary material in all new provincially funded buildings, in a manner consistent with the British Columbia Building Code;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the District of West Kelowna will support the ongoing development of its wood culture by:

  • Being a wood champion and supporting the BC government’s Wood First Act by adopting this Wood First Resolution and developing a Wood First Policy that will establish a long-term strategy for building with wood in the District of West Kelowna;
  • Encouraging wood champion designers and builders for all municipal building projects so that the opportunities for building with wood cost effectively are maximized;
  • Encouraging all requests for proposals will request excellence in building with wood as a key qualifying criterion;
  • Seeking those who can find practical, efficient, versatile and cost effective building and design solutions through the use of wood;
  • Encouraging all municipal construction projects in West Kelowna receiving either public or wood industry financial support employ the appropriate structural or architectural use of wood.

Brown Road Streetscape
Council approved the Brown Road Streetscape conceptual design and directed staff to proceed with detailed design drawings and prepare to tender Phase 1 of the project. The budget was amended to $2,017,917 from $800,000 to accommodate higher-than-expected construction estimates, including the cost of relocating utility lines underground. The District will apply to the
2013 BC Hydro Beautification Program for one third cost-sharing funding assistance for the removal of the overhead power lines. Phase 1 of the project will see approximately 400 metres of Brown Road, from Main Street (Highway 97) to the northern boundary of the private lane access for the Gateway townhome project, improved to include sidewalks, landscaping, bike facilities and traffic calming. The District conducted two open houses and approximately 150 people participated. Public feedback from a March 14 Open House Survey was overwhelmingly supportive of the overall project. The project is expected to be tendered in July 2013 with construction anticipated to begin in late summer.

Water Master Plan Public Outreach
Council endorsed the 2013 Water Master Plan Public Outreach Program, prepared by Strategic Infrastructure Management Systems, which will see a Steering Committee created to oversee the public consultation on the District’s Draft Water Master Plan. The program is designed to educate the public on water quality, supply and distribution, and associated costs and revenue requirements and to capture feedback to shape the final Water Master Plan report. The consultation plan includes:

  • Appointment of a steering committee
  • Information packages
  • Presentations to special interest groups
  • Public open houses
  • Outreach feedback forms
  • Report to Council on the outcomes

Public consultation is expected to be complete by November 2013.

Flood Protection Plan
Council directed staff to apply to the Flood Protection Program seeking two-thirds funding to construct mitigation works at McDougall Creek in the vicinity of Hitchner Road. On April 12, the BC Ministry of Justice, which oversees Emergency Management BC, advised local governments that funding applications were being accepted for the new Flood Protection Program, in support of projects that aim to build permanent mitigative infrastructure over a one or two year period between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2016. On April 25, 2012 the District of West Kelowna declared a Local State of Emergency when high spring runoff, combined with heavy rains, caused breaches along the berms lining the McDougall Creek delta. The municipality provided emergency assistance to residents and repaired breaches and held back floodwaters with temporary berms, which remain in place. An engineering study identified that the creek is narrow and shallow and is at risk of flooding again. The study recommends that the creek channel be widened and excavated to increase capacity. In order to secure grant funding, additional land tenure will be required to complete the works through some properties downstream of Boucherie Road, which will require agreement from private property owners whose lands would be impacted by the remedial efforts.

2013 Financial Plan   
Council gave second and third reading to the 2013 Financial Plan which includes a 2.95% tax increase. Adoption is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Council was advised there is a $380,503 surplus in the budget which Council agreed to transfer to reserves for future expenditures.

A 2.95% tax increase for 2013 would add $46.16 to property taxes on an average District of West Kelowna home, assessed at $467,445. A 2.95% tax increase generates an additional $686,150 to District revenue.

DWK Historical Tax Increases:
2008:   5.00%
2009:   2.00%
2010:   2.35%
2011:   2.24%
2012:   3.00%
2013:   2.95%

Assessment growth remains relatively low at 1.25% but is higher than the budgeted 1%. The 1.25% assessment growth accounts for an increase in revenue of $290,742.

The financial plan provides for balanced operating revenues and expenditures of $92,259,886. Included in this total are operational requirements, transfers to/from reserves and debt servicing. Also included are collections for other governments totaling $21,905,300.

A public open house was held Wednesday, February 20, 2013, attended by 8 members of the public.

The 2013 Capital Budget:


Facility Renovation - Fire Hall
Facility Recreation - Library
Facility Renovation - Jim Lind
Facility Renovation - Johnson Bentley
Facility Renovation - Museum
Facility Renovation - Senior Centre
Facility Total
$    2,031,135


Arena Signage
Boat Launch
Creek Repair
Waterfront Plan
Memorial Park
Road Work
Storm Sewer

Infrastructure Total
$    8,398,500

Fire Department Equipment
Portable Stage
Information Technology
Large Equipment
DCC Programs and Bylaws
Small Equipment
Planning Software
RCMP Vehicles
Equipment Total
$ 1,510,867

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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