Wednesday was budget debate day at Kelowna City Hall, with council considering the city’s fiscal future for 2021.
In a council meeting that was closed to the public but broadcast on the internet, city staff asked council members to be more purposeful when it comes to the ‘end of service life’ with some of its buildings.
One public building that’s being looked at as nearing the end of its service life is the 47-year-old Parkinson Recreation Centre.
“I want a new Parkinson Recreation Centre building,” Kelowna city councillor Ryan Donn told Global News.
Council started that task on Wednesday by approving $100,000 in funding to approve borrowing money to build a new recreation centre.
However, city council isn’t using a public referendum to get public approval; instead, it’s using the alternative approval process, which puts the onus on potential naysayers.
Naysayers generally need to gather signed letters of opposition from 10 per cent of the electorate to then force a public referendum.
For more about the alternative approval process, click here.
In Kelowna’s 10-year capital plan, city staff budgeted the centre’s replacement cost at $82.8 million.
Plans for the new facility include an eight-lane 25-metre pool, a leisure pool, three gymnasiums and a fitness facility.
As well, the new centre could be built as part of a partnership with School District 23.
“Those discussions are still ongoing.”
According to Parlane, if the new building is built in conjunction with the school district, it would have a substantial impact on the cost of replacing the facility.
Donn said local citizens should be able to have their say before final budget approval sometime in May