Not one candidate for West Kelowna council opposes new soccer facility expenditure - InfoNews

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Not one candidate for West Kelowna council opposes new soccer facility expenditure

Image Credit: Shutterstock
October 11, 2018 - 6:00 PM

WEST KELOWNA - It's unanimous.

Despite some vocal unofficial opposition from the community, every candidate who completed our questionnaire supports a recent council decision to spend $3.11 million on a new inflatable soccer dome. 

As part of our 2018 municipal election coverage, we asked candidates this question: West Kelowna councillors approved $3.11 million for a new inflatable soccer dome. Do you agree with this expenditure?

Here are key points from their answers, and at the bottom of the page you can see their full response.

West Kelowna voters, what do you think about this? Tell us in the comments below.

All in favour

Rusty Ensign: Yes. It will bring spinoffs for the service and hospitality industries. This field and lights twelve months of the year saves having to build a second field to provide for the same need.

Doug Findlater: Absolutely. One of the most common complaints I hear is that there is nothing for youth to do in West Kelowna so this is a big win for West Kelowna.

Winston Wammer
Winston Wammer
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Facebook

Winston Wammer: Yes, I agree, it’s an investment in our community.

Jason Friesen: I do believe that the inflatable soccer dome is a great addition to our city. Many of our residents travel across the bridge into Kelowna to play soccer in the winter months so being able to offer this service within our own community is fantastic

Gord Milsom: Given that the Westside Youth Soccer Association was able to obtain a $650,000 grant and given the benefits such a sports facility will provide West Kelowna youth, I am in favour of Council’s decision to proceed with this project.

Rosalind Neis: This will be a multi-use facility that will provide recreation year round for all ages. 

Gordon Wiebe: This question is misleading and full of false suppositions. The City has altered the plan that was originally agreed to and increased costs substantially. I believe the City should build the dome without delay or return the cash to the amateur youth organization.

Bryden Winsby: Yes, I do agree with this expenditure. While some might view new recreation facilities as frills, I do not. Thousands of users, now and in years to come, will benefit. We must not only plan for the future, we must spend for the future.

Carol Zanon: This will be a multi-purpose facility, not a soccer dome. It is laudable that a community group took the initiative and raised over six hundred thousand dollars towards this new sports plus facility.

Jayson Zilkie
Jayson Zilkie
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Facebook

Jayson Zilkie: For people who were involved in the process of this soccer dome, they can tell you their frustrations and how the city interacted with this project. I am in favour of a new soccer dome.

Mary Mandarino: I am away (sic) in favour of more opportunities for youth but the soccer doom (sic) is an expense that the municipality may be able to afford at this time.

These candidates did not respond.
Philip Akins
Jerome Chung
Rick de Jong
Brad Dobbin
Joe Gluska
Stephen Johnston
Tiffany Pare

Full Responses

Rusty Ensign: Yes council did the right thing. It will bring spinoffs for the service and hospitality industries. Most importantly it is incumbent upon us to provide for our youth and recreation facilities in our community. Both Vernon and Penticton have one and we are the same size as those cities are. Westside Minor Soccer gave a $600,000 contribution to the facility. All other sports field related expenditures over the next five years were deferred in order to provide this facility. We need more soccer fields. This field and lights twelve months of the year saves having to build a second field to provide for the same need.

Doug Findlater: Absolutely. $600K was donated by West Kelowna Youth Soccer serving 1500 youth.  The other funds were largely found by bundling future planned projects - additional sports field, sports field lighting and related amenities - into this project because this will provide the same benefits sooner and at the same cost. One of the most common complaints I hear is that there is nothing for youth to do in West Kelowna so this is a big win for West Kelowna and families.

Jason Friesen: I do believe that the inflatable soccer dome is a great addition to our city. Many of our residents travel across the bridge into Kelowna to play soccer in the winter months so being able to offer this service within our own community is fantastic. It also offers opportunities for other groups such as rugby, baseball, football, etc. some extra playing and practice times especially as we are quite limited on fields and facilities that are lit. Personally, I may have suggested an alternative location where a larger recreational hub could eventually have been established or located in an area that would also offer other services such as restaurants or a lounge.

Mary Mandarino: I am away (sic) in favour of more opportunities for youth but the soccer doom (sic) is an expense that the municipality may be able to afford at this time.

Gord Milsom: Given that the Westside Youth Soccer Association was able to obtain a $650,000 grant and given the benefits such a sports facility will provide West Kelowna youth, I am in favour of Council’s decision to proceed with this project.

Rosalind Neis: This will be a multi-use facility that will provide recreation year round for all ages. 

Winston Wammer: Yes, I agree, it’s an investment in our community.

Gordon Wiebe: This question is misleading and full of false suppositions.
Financing for the dome has already been completed. This Spring, the Westside Youth Soccer Association wrote a cheque for $600,000 to the City of West Kelowna.
The artificial turf cost was under $150,000 and the cost of the Teflon dome was $454,000 - when originally quoted nearly 3 years ago.
The City has altered the plan that was originally agreed to and increased costs substantially. The city mandated:
a) The turf be a greater thickness than what’s required for soccer
b) Consultants be consulted
c) Project Managers do the managing
d) New property be purchased for the completion of the dome
e) Upgrades to the water main on the property designated for the soccer dome
f) Bathrooms and change areas be a part of the complex
I believe the City should build the dome without delay or return the cash to the amateur youth organization.

Bryden Winsby: Yes, I do agree with this expenditure. It would not have occurred if the Westside Youth Soccer Association had not provided more than $700,000 toward the eventual cost and lobbied hard to get this project off the ground. Bear in mind that the cost includes acquisition of and improvements to a suitable site — an ideal site, in fact, as it is centrally located and adjacent to the new Rosewood Sports Field (a joint project with the school district) and to a 5.34-hectare site off Westlake Road. A portion of the latter property (3.64 hectares) has been earmarked for future athletic fields and the remainder for walking trails. It is my hope the fields will have artificial turf, which will extend the length of time they can be used and cost less to maintain than grass fields.

Neither acquisition involves an increase in taxation. They are being paid for through reserves and parks development cost charges (DCCs, levied against developers).
While some might view new recreation facilities as frills, I do not. Thousands of users, now and in years to come, will benefit. We must not only plan for the future, we must spend for the future. These kinds of things don‘t often get cheaper as time goes by. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Carol Zanon: This will be a multi-purpose facility, not a soccer dome. It will be different from the soccer domes you may have seen in the Kelowna area. Although it will be an inflatable structure, it will function all year long, and serve all ages. It is laudable that a community group took the initiative and raised over six hundred thousand dollars towards this new sports plus facility. I know how hard that is to get this kind of money, by collecting funds in nickels and dimes from bake sales and bottle drives.

Jayson Zilkie: For people who were involved in the process of this soccer dome, they can tell you their frustrations and how the city interacted with this project. I am in favour of a new soccer dome, that creates a valuable facility that will bring the community together.  Having more places that our residents can engage in and grow together in community is a great thing.

 


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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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