Rapid growth driving need for City of Kelowna to spend $2 billion in next 10 years | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Rapid growth driving need for City of Kelowna to spend $2 billion in next 10 years

Replacing Parkinson Recreation Centre is the biggest ticket item in the City of Kelowna's plans for the next 10 years.
Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

As the fastest growing major metropolitan area in the country, greater Kelowna is being forced to spend on new roads, parks and recreation centres like never before.

The City of Kelowna, as the largest community in the region, is looking at spending $2.04 billion on those structures over the next 10 years.

“Rapid growth puts pressure on the capital program . . . and increases demand for more infrastructure to support growth,” says a report on the city’s 10 Year Capital Plan going to city council next Monday “That is why this capital plan focuses 72% of investment on infrastructure to support growth and improve services.”

The good news for often-disgruntled taxpayers is that only about 10% ($196 million) is coming from taxes.

The biggest share, 30%, comes from reserves and 24% from the fees charged to developers that build the new housing and commercial structures needed by the estimated 50,000 more people who will move to the city by 2040.

Another 16% will be borrowed, much of that for the city’s biggest ever spend, $242 million to replace Parkinson Recreation Centre, starting next year.

READ MORE: Kelowna wants to spend nearly $300M on recreation facilities including Parkinson rebuild

In fact, buildings make up the biggest share of new spending at $416 million over the next 10 years.

Of that, $41 million will go into the Capital News Centre in 2028-29. That will include new ice sheets.

One building that hasn’t made the cut is the $108 million replacement for Kelowna Community Theatre.

Transportation is the second biggest spending sector at $373 million with the single largest item identified as road renewal at $58 million.

One of the most visible projects will be along two sections of Burtch Road, which runs on the west side of Parkinson Recreation Centre.

One will start at the Glenmore Road/Bernard Avenue/Spall Road intersection, continue down Bernard Avenue and Burtch Road to Highway 97. Most of that work is scheduled for 2026 with a total cost of $14.4 million.

The other will extend Burtch from its current end south of Byrne Road through to KLO Road. Most of that work will be done in 2027 with a total cost of $10.1 million.

There are four projects in the plan for Hollywood Road North, connecting it to UBCO. Those total $24.5 million with the bulk of the work happening in 2028.

The extension of Clement Road from Spall Road along the Rail Trail to McCurdy Road will cost $6.6 million, with $6.1 million of that being spent on the extension to Highway 33, mostly in 2032.

READ MORE: Rail and roadways next to the Okanagan Rail Trail shouldn’t come as a surprise

The third biggest spending sector is Kelowna Airport at $365 million, all funded through user fees.

The expansion of the terminal will cost $150 million and is expected to be mostly done by 2027. Another $94 million goes to equipment and paving on the airside of the airport.

Parks account for $287 million with land acquisition making up more than half of that at $156 million.

Two of the biggest park projects will be the further development of the Glenmore Recreation Park at $23.6 million, to be done by 2026, and Kerry Park with $10 million to be spent on upgrades that are scheduled to take place in 2025 and 2027.

Wastewater upgrades account for $211 million with $77 million for a biosolids digestion system in 2027-29.

Water services will require $147 million while another $73 million needs to be spent on the Glenmore Landfill.

Along with Kelowna Community Theatre, some other projects that don’t make the cut in the next 10 years are a new Kelowna Museum ($80 million), new parkades ($40.6 million), Sutherland Bay Park expansion ($18.4 million) and renovations to Prospera Place ($18 million).

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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