West Kelowna council restarting new city hall process

An artist drawing of the proposed new West Kelowna municipal hall.
Image Credit: Contributed

WEST KELOWNA – At a special meeting this week, West Kelowna city council decided to restart the process of getting residents to partially pay for a new city hall.

Council had chosen an Alternate Approval Process to get funding for part of the 32,215-square-foot hall at a projected price of just under $32 million, but opponents to the project were able to gather enough signatures to force them to take it to referendum.

Federal legislation requires the referendum be held within 80 days, but in a media release, West Kelowna spokesperson Kirsten Jones says the timing is less than ideal.

“The City made the request after receiving information that electoral approval was not obtained through the Alternative Approval Process held in May and was pursued in order to avoid holding a referendum on the matter in the summer when many voters are away on holidays and West Kelowna’s forest fire threat is greatest,” she writes.

Council unanimously chose to restart the process and rescinded the first three readings of the City Hall Project Borrowing Bylaw.

They also requested staff return with options before the June 14 council meeting.

The public-private partnership would include a city hall, an office building and two residential buildings. Interior Health is to be one of the tenants.

Find past stories on the proposed West Kelowna city hall here.

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