COVID has added $100 million in expenses for Kelowna's long range construction plans | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Kelowna News

COVID has added $100 million in expenses for Kelowna's long range construction plans

Parkinson Recreation Centre.

Construction cost increases, driven by COVID-induced material shortages and price hikes, are the main contributors to a $98 million increase to the City of Kelowna’s 10-year capital plan.

One major project alone – the replacement of the Parkinson Recreation Centre slated to start next year – adds $34 million, boosting the projected price tag to $134 million this year from $100 million last year.

“The increases are just inflationary costs across the board,” Robert Parlane, the city’s parks and buildings planning manager and the man overseeing the Parkinson Recreation Centre project, told iNFOnews.ca.

The $134 million price tag is just an estimate at this point since detailed design work for the project has not been done.

There have been discussions with the Central Okanagan school district and province about combining the recreation centre rebuild with a new high school but Parlane said he could not comment on where those discussions are at or give any time frame on when the project will go ahead.

If built, the recreation centre will be the most expensive thing ever built by the City of Kelowna, surpassing the RCMP building that cost $48 million. It opened in June 2017.

READ MORE: City of Kelowna chooses contractor for new cop shop

The city’s 10 Year Capital Plan is updated every year and will be presented to city council during its morning meeting on Monday, Nov. 1.

It lists road, sewer, airport, landfill and other projects the city would like to build over the next 10 years for a total of $1.49 billion.

Some projects are scheduled to start earlier than before and others later, based on funding and “changing community needs,” says the report going to council.

“The City’s capital program has grown to keep pace with the demands of a growing community while at the same time relying less on general taxation as a primary funding source,” it says.

Five years ago, taxpayers were expected to pay 18% of the plan. That’s down to 11% this year, with grants, user fees, reserves and borrowing making up the difference.

All projects still have to be approved by city council.

READ MORE: Massive Kelowna recreation complex project could come with a huge pricetag


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