Who spent more in the West Kelowna city hall referendum? | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Who spent more in the West Kelowna city hall referendum?

A rendering of what the new West Kelowna Civic Hall might have looked like.
Image Credit: City of West Kelowna
December 19, 2016 - 5:20 PM

WEST KELOWNA – It takes more than money to buy civic halls.

According to recently released documents from Elections B.C., the side supporting a new city hall in West Kelowna spent thousands of dollars more on advertising than their victorious opponents.

The Taxpayers for Responsible Investment Group spent only $13,760 on various forms of advertising to convince voters to stop the multimillion dollar project, which also failed a alternate approval process last year.

The Yes to the Civic Centre Society spent $19,243.

Roughly $2,000 of that went to brochures and flyers, more than $4,800 on old media like radio and newspapers and $1,247 on internet advertising.

More than $2,800 was also spent on various other supplies.

The majority of that money – more than $10,000 - came from corporations, however thanks to a few high profile donors, $8,570 was raised from individuals.

Tony Stewart and Brad Bennett of Quails Gate Estate Winery donated $1,000 and Strategic BC Investments Inc. — the company that would have built the civic centre — donated $4,350 in favour of the plan.

The No side, which won the referendum by only 27 votes spent roughly $5,500 less but still managed to win.

The majority of donations to the No side came from individuals, the largest being from Bob Lind who donated $9,122. That’s almost ten times more than the second largest donation.

The city was seeking authorization from voters to spend up to $7.7 million on a new city hall. The new lower price tag came after applying a $1.5 million surplus from 2015 along with $308,000 from the city yards reserve fund, according to a West Kelowna media release.

Voters in May balked at the original price tag of $14.8 million where the city would have borrowed $10.5 million and more than 10 per cent of the electorate sent in a form indicating their opposition.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 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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