Here’s what $81 more a year in taxes will get you in Kelowna in 2020 - InfoNews

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Here’s what $81 more a year in taxes will get you in Kelowna in 2020

Plans call for the Ethel Street bike corridor to be extended south to Raymer Avenue next year.
December 09, 2019 - 10:48 AM

The average Kelowna homeowner will be billed an extra $81 on their property taxes in 2020 if city council adopts its provisional budget on Thursday, Dec. 12.

That’s a 3.9 per cent increase in taxes but a tiny portion of the almost $300 million it costs to run and expand city services.

Here are just a few of the more notable things your taxes will help pay for, although some items are funded through other sources, such as fees, reserves, charges to developers and cost-sharing from other governments. Taxes cover only 25 per cent of costs.

Many new items, such as numerous planning exercises, water and sewer system upgrades and a replacement fire engine will hardly be noticeable. Others, like new bridges over creeks, will be quite visible and may disrupt travel plans. Some of the bigger projects will be designed in 2020 but construction won’t be finished until 2021.

PARKS AND RECREATION

  • The first phase of the Pandosy Waterfront Park will start with public consultation, demolishing houses, building a central plaza, lawn, beachfront, restoring shoreline and an outdoor classroom for $4.5 million.
  • Start planning to expand the Capital News Centre with two new ice sheets and more for $23,000.
  • Design and build a fieldhouse in Rutland Recreational Park for $4 million. This will go ahead only if 75 per cent of the money is raised in the community.
  • Replace the Kelowna Community Theatre sound system for $300,000.
  • Finish Rutland Centennial Park redevelopment with washrooms, basketball court and event stage by 2021 for $2.7 million.
  • Build a sports field in the Ponds park (next to Canyon Falls Middle School) by 2021 for $1 million.
  • Replace, expand and light much of the walkway through City Park by mid-2021 for $2.1 million.
  • Expand Sarsons Beach by demolishing a house by mid-2021. It will not affect the activity centre. Cost is $230,000.

TRANSPORTATION

  • Replace Lakeshore Road bridge over Bellevue Creek by mid-2021 for $1.6 million.
  • Design, remove and replace KLO Road bridge over Mission Creek in 2021 for $7.8 million.
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  • Connect Houghton Road to the Okanagan Rail Trail, crossing Highway 97 at Leathead Road for $2.5 million.
  • Extend the Ethel Street bike corridor to Raymer Avenue for $2.7 million.
  • Put planters at nine more intersections to reduce panhandling for $63,200.
  • Replace all coin parking meters by the end of 2020 at a cost of $426,000.
  • Install up to eight new electric car charging stations downtown for $135,000.

STAFFING

  • The RCMP is budgeted for 191 members this year. Seven more are to be added in 2020 at an annual cost of $180,000 per member, up $7,000 from this year. There will also be 4 more civilian hires.
  • There will be another 31 new full-time staff and five part-time. The total cost of all new hires is budgeted at $906,000 for half a year.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro 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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