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City doing swimmingly despite economic uncertainty

Construction activity continues to rise in Kelowna.
February 03, 2015 - 12:08 PM

KELOWNA - The rest of the world may be in financial turmoil, but Kelowna continues to do fine, at least as measured by our performance as a community last quarter.

“There is lots of volatility in the global economic climate,” the city’s community planning director Doug Gilchrist told council, while presenting them with positive numbers in a bunch of areas from the quarterly report covering the last three months of 2014.

On the development front, just over $91 million in building permits went out, up from $84 million the same quarter the year before and $68 million in 2012. There were 426 development applications made to city planning staff, in addition to 631 urban planning applications.

The Kelowna Airport continues to set service records, with 24 consective monthly increases in passenger loads, handling 1.6 million passengers last year, up 6.5 per cent from the previous year. Safety services saw a busy quarter with inspectors performing 847 fire inspections, a jump of almost 130. Fire services responded to 421 calls, 30 more than last year.

Although it was just outside the last quarter, Gilchrist included numbers on the near-record snowstorm of Jan. 4 and 5. The storm generated 550 online service requests while 46 staff working 22 city trucks cleared 1,650 lane kilometres of roadway, cleared 58 parking lot and removed over 300 truckloads of snow just from the downtown core.

Gilchrist said contruction continues unabated downtown with several major construction projects on the go. That includes the Innovation Centre, the Kelowna Community Health Service Centre, the Queensway transit exchange, a pair of parkades and the recent announcement of movement on a mothballed hotel on Sunset Dr.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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