KELOWNA, B.C. – The future of Rutland Centennial Park and hall is in question as the society that owns the facilities is in desperate need of cash for improvements.
While the RCMP are being called into investigate missing funds allegedly involving the previous board of directors, a second vote is being scheduled to sell the park to the City of Kelowna.
The Rutland Park Society is alleging funds are missing from previous years’ May Days profits.
The society would receive $800,000 under the deal with the City which would pay for repairs to Rutland Centennial Hall, while the City is pledging to spend $400,000 immediately to improve the park and build an extension to Shepherd Road through the land for transit access.
“The hall itself is almost 50 years old and the park is in need of a significant investment,” says society president Todd Sanderson. “We just don’t have the funds to be able to reinvest in the hall and reinvest in the land.”
A vote to approve the deal August 14th was unsuccessful.
“We needed to have a 75 per cent mandate,” says Sanderson. “We got 68 per cent.”
A clarified deal will be brought to the membership during the AGM in October. Details of the Shepherd Road extension will also better specified following membership concern.
Previous society president Chris Brown resigned 18 months ago.
Sanderson plans to run again for his role in leading the group at the fall meeting.
He is encouraging residents to take up a membership so they can vote at the upcoming meeting. There are currently about 150 members of the Rutland Park Society, but Sanderson would like to see hundreds more sign up to support the future of the community hall and ensure future transparency.