West Kelowna council highlights: November 12 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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West Kelowna council highlights: November 12

Water Master Plan Steering Committee
The Draft Water Master Plan Public Outreach Steering Committee presented its findings and recommendations to Council. The committee, struck on May 29, was made up of six members of the community with experience or an interest in water service. The committee met with Interior Health to review water quality requirements, reviewed the draft Water Master Plan developed by a consultant and considered seven options for future water service maintenance and improvements, including options for agricultural twinning. The Committee presented information to the Agricultural Advisory Committee, Urban Development Institute and the Westbank & District Chamber of Commerce as well as conducted public outreach including two open houses and an online survey. The Committee presented its preferred option, which includes the construction of a new water treatment plant in Rose Valley and an interconnection with the Westbank Water Service Area’s system. Option 2 was indicated as the most cost-effective option with mostly gravity supplied water and little pumping requirements. It also provides multiple sources of water for the community and would provide the best response in emergency situations with interconnection. The Committee also provided implementation ideas including beginning with improvements starting with the $50 million worth of proposed investment that are common for all options, monitoring metered water use over the next 5 years to clarify the level of water treatment required for future needs planning and actively promote and educate the community on water conservation. The full Water Master Plan, including financial implication, will be brought forward for Council consideration no later than the first meeting in January 2014.

Transit Update
Steve Harvard, Senior Regional Transit Manager with BC Transit, presented an overview of the ridership changes made in West Kelowna since 2012 and an update on the RapidBus project. The changes were made in 2012 to better match demand and achieve savings. Ridership has dropped slightly since service changes in September 2012 with routes that had significant reductions experiencing an expected drop in ridership. Data indicates that RapidBus on the Westside is gaining increasing popularity and there is opportunity to further develop the connectivity of the local network to RapidBus to yield more ridership. It is anticipated that the new RapidBus infrastructure to be built in 2014 should yield increased ridership. BC Transit plans to further adjust transit service in 2014 to ensure maximum connectivity between local bus routes and RapidBus in order to facilitate regional travel and build ridership. RapidBus transit exchanges will be built beginning April 2014 on Elliott Road in Westbank Centre and on Westgate Road in the Boucherie area. The exchanges will be complete by September 2014, when service changes related to RapidBus will be implemented. BC Transit, working with the District, will conduct consultation and communication regarding these scheduling changes in the coming months, including providing information this month at the Mayor’s Youth Forum. A communications plan outlining how the public will be educated

Winter Road Maintenance
Council was provided a presentation from Dustin Khadikin, contract Manager with AEL, a division of HMC Services Inc., which conducts roads maintenance for the District. For various reasons last December’s road maintenance changeover from ARGO to AEL was unfortunately not as smooth as hoped. The District of West Kelowna received approximately 1,500 phone calls and emails about the winter maintenance services after the change over to AEL during the first snowfall events of last winter. AEL indicated it is much better prepared for winter road maintenance this year and is looking at doing more outreach to the public to educate residents on winter road maintenance. The District and AEL have provided a Snow Removal Priority and other information regarding winter road maintenance on its website, www.districtofwestkelowna.ca.

Draft Sign Bylaw
Council gave second and third readings to its Draft Sign Bylaw, which will be scheduled for consideration of adoption at the next available meeting of Council. Should Council choose to adopt the new Sign Bylaw, announcements of the new bylaw will be made on the District website, in the January 2014 quarterly newsletter and to the Westbank & District Chamber of Commerce. Following these announcements, the new Bylaw will come into effect. Upon adoption, all existing signs will be grandfathered.

Store Front School Location
Council approved the issuance of a Temporary Use Permit to allow an education service facility at 3711 Old Okanagan Highway, the location of the former RCMP station location. The application came after the Westbank Lions Hall was damaged by a fire on September 1, displacing the School District 23’s store front school previously operated from that location. The Temporary Use Permit is in effect for three years.

Pritchard Park Update
In an effort to address neighbour concerns with current use of Pritchard Park and planned park improvements, Council directed that staff report back within two Council meetings with an implementation plan for Pritchard Park improvements. Council further directed that staff hold a consultation meeting with a small group of residents within that time period. The Marjorie Pritchard Park Plan was adopted in March 2012, unifying three municipal parcels on Pritchard Road into one cohesive plan. To date, the municipality has demolished a house located at 1595 Pritchard Drive, rehabilitated the property for park use, completed detailed construction drawings, demolished the existing dock and constructed a new dock and sundeck. Neighbours of the park have expressed concerns about increased traffic, parking problems, inappropriate use of the park and privacy issues.

Towing & Storage Service Policy
Council adopted a Towing and Storage Service Policy and rescinded the Rotational Towing and Storage List Policy. From time to time, the District is required to have vehicles towed and has previously allowed various towing companies to conduct this service on a rotational basis. Now, the District will enter into a contract with a single towing provider for three years with an optional two additional years based on performance. The contractor will also be asked to pay for the right to have the contract. The tender will be awarded to the contractor that meets the criteria and is willing to pay the highest amount.

Community Recognition Program – Snow Removal
Council directed staff to develop and implement a Community Recognition Program recognizing those who assist District of West Kelowna residents with snow removal, authorizing a $500 prize as part of the program. In February, 2013, Council directed staff to research options for a community program to recognize those who assist others with clearing sidewalks from snow and ice. The District of West Kelowna's Good Neighbour Bylaw No. 0071 requires sidewalks to be cleared from snow and ice within 24 hours from the cessation of a snow event. Some residents may find this requirement a challenge and many residents rely on neighbours and friends to assist them.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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