$3.3-mil­lion up­grade pro­posed for City Hall

The Daily Courier - - KELOWNA - By RON SEY­MOUR

Ren­o­va­tions at City Hall are go­ing un­der­ground.

The base­ment of the mu­nic­i­pal ed­i­fice on Wa­ter Street is pro­jected to get a $3.3-mil­lion im­prove­ment in the city’s 2019 bud­get.

“The ex­ist­ing base­ment is poorly laid out with less than 30 work­sta­tions,” the bud­get states. “The ren­o­va­tions will more than dou­ble the num­ber of work­sta­tions avail­able to meet staffing de­mands, re­duce reliance on lease space, and cre­ate a more mod­ern work­ing en­vi­ron­ment.”

The base­ment renos, the lat­est phase in a long-term plan to ex­pand and mod­ern­ize City Hall, are part of $82 mil­lion in cap­i­tal works spend­ing planned for next year. About one-quar­ter of the nec­es­sary funds will come di­rectly from tax­a­tion, while re­serves and other sources ac­count for the rest.

Trans­porta­tion makes up the sin­gle largest com­po­nent of the cap­i­tal plan, at $28 mil­lion. Ma­jor cap­i­tal projects in­clude: — the ad­di­tion of two sports fields and park­ing to the Glen­more recre­ation park

— ex­ten­sion of multi-use path­ways, de­signed to en­cour­age more walk­ing and cy­cling, along Ethel Street and Suther­land Av­enue

— ex­pan­sion of the air­port’s longterm park­ing lot

— re­pairs to the Wa­ter Street fire hall

— re­place­ment of the FlowRider, a surf­ing sim­u­la­tor, at the H2O Ad­ven­ture + Fit­ness Cen­tre

— plan­ning for ad­di­tional lev­els to be built at the Chap­man parkade.

The city ex­pects to col­lect a to­tal of $142 mil­lion in taxes next year, up from $127 mil­lion just two years ago.

Polic­ing will ac­count for the sin­gle largest com­po­nent of the op­er­at­ing bud­get, at $33 mil­lion. Six new of­fi­cers are pro­posed, to bring the Kelowna RCMP de­tach­ment’s strength up to 189 mem­bers.

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