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Rising inflation hindering Kelowna’s 10-year capital plan

Click to play video: 'Kelowna city council to review changes made to 10-year capital plan' Kelowna city council to review changes made to 10-year capital plan
Kelowna City Council will be reviewing their latest model of the city's 10-year capital plan on Monday morning after a number of adjustments were made, meaning some projects will have to be dropped all together. – Jul 24, 2022

Kelowna City Council will be reviewing the latest model of the city’s 10-year capital plan Monday morning after several adjustments were made, meaning some projects may be dropped all together.

The latest 10-Year capital plan focuses on “continued investment in Transportation and Parks, increased investment in public facilities and flood protection as well as ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” but it has also seen many changes due to reasons beyond council’s control such as inflation.

Reports show that 31 projects have either been removed or scrapped from the latest capital plan compared to the prior version, while 68 projects have seen a noticeable increase or drop in cost greater than $5 million dollars. Most of them were increases.

Read more: Kelowna city council to review proposed UBCO campus Monday

Of those increases, many have a direct impact on Kelowna’s buildings and parks. Data shows a cost hike of roughly 40 per cent within the building sector and 30 per cent in parks, which in turn means a 30 per cent upsurge was tacked on to all building projects.

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For some of the larger park-investments such as City Park, Pandosy, Glenmore, DeHart, Kerry and Casorso, they’ve been given the green light. In total, Kelowna’s infrastructure investment in Funded Projects has increased $98 million from the previous plan across the 12 cost centres.

The cost centres include:

  • Real estate and parking
  • Buildings parks
  • Transportation
  • Solid waste
  • Storm drainage
  • Informational services
  • Vehicle or mobile equipment
  • Fire, water and wastewater
  • Airport
  • Unallocated infrastructure levy

Read more: Kelowna, B.C. the fastest growing metropolitan area in Canada

Also at the forefront of Monday’s meeting will be an alternative route to Highway 97 through Kelowna, which has been placed at the top of the priority list by the city.

The new 10-year capital plan shows investment of $2.37 billion, but there’s just one problem. Only $1.63 billion of that is coming from municipal funding through taxation or reserves, or, alternately, provincial or federal funding.

“Despite these challenges, the city continues to deliver world-class infrastructure and services. Many capital projects continue to be completed; delivering on council priorities, meeting the objectives of the Official Community Plan and community expectations,” the report states.

The remaining $744 million is currently unfunded. The final review of the 10-year capital plan will happen in August.

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