Budget deliberations are underway in council chambers. (File)

Budget deliberations are underway in council chambers. (File)

UPDATE: Council budgets for 11 additional cops, moves tax increase to 4.15 per cent

The mayor and council have begun their eight-hour meeting to pore through the budget line-by-line

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.

Council has wrapped up its 2020 budget deliberations.

The motion to approve the budget was approved unanimously by council.

The provisional budget’s proposed 3.9 per cent tax increase went up to 4.15 per cent as council approved four officers more than were initially called for.

The total increase in taxes per average homeowner would be $86 for 2020 — $5 more than the provisional budget’s $81.

The city has until May to finalize the 2020 budget.

_______

UPDATE: 2:10 p.m.

Kelowna city council voted to bring 11 additional RCMP officers to Kelowna as part of its 2020 budget.

Seven new officers were requested in the provisional budget but an additional four positions marked priority two were moved up to priority one, adding them to this year’s budget.

The move adds $360,000 to the 2020 budget, bringing the proposed 3.9 per cent tax increase to 4.15 per cent.

City staff said this will increase the 2021 and 2022 tax rates — both of which are expected to be over five per cent increases— by .25 per cent as well.

Councillors Stack, Wooldridge and Given opposed the hotly contested motion, stating their discomfort with tax increases over five per cent.

The total increase in taxes per average homeowner would be $86 for 2020 — $5 more than the provisional budget’s $81.

Deliberations are still ongoing.

More to come.

_______

UPDATE: 12:35 p.m.

Council approved the budgeting of $500,000 for the design of a pedestrian overpass over Highway 97 between Rowcliffe Park and Downtown.

This number struck some councillors as an overpayment, with Coun. Luke Stack saying the number is “remarkably high.”

Coun. Charlie Hodge added that he finds the amount “staggering.”

Rafael Villareal, a city transportation planner, said the costs are normal for a project like this.

“It’s normal for design costs of a major project to be around 10 per cent of the total cost,” he said.

“It’s like that for every single infrastructure project we do.”

The pedestrian bridge was a required project in the site’s 2012 rezoning.

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2021.

_______

UPDATE: 11:25 a.m.

The city and SD23 are pursuing a potential partnership to replace Parkinson Recreation Centre and build a new high school as a shared facility.

Council approved the $500,000 cost to continue the pursuit and planning of the partnership.

The money will be used for staff time and associated consultant work prior to finalizing an agreement and to prepare for grants. All consulting costs will be shared with the school district.

_______

UPDATE: 10:40 a.m.

Construction on two bridges was approved by council at a cost of nearly $9.5 million, $2,236,800 from taxation.

The KLO bridge will be demolished and replaced, while the Lakeshore Road bridge will be rehabilitated to meet current standards.

Detailed design is underway for the KLO bridge.

The Lakeshore project will include the demolition and reconstruction of the bridge, urbanization of Lakeshore Road, completion of the ATC and watermain replacement.

Construction for both projects is anticipated to be completed in 2021.

_______

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.

A much-anticipated park development on Cedar Avenue will finally begin construction in 2020.

Pandosy Waterfront Park will come in at a total cost of $4.5 million, with $386,200 coming from taxation.

This cost includes the public consultation, design and first phase of construction.

The first phase includes the demolition of the existing residential properties, a central plaza, activity lawn, beachfront, restored shoreline, and outdoor classroom.

“Democracy does work,” said Coun. Charlie Hodge.

“If you pound on the table and jump up and down and scream loud enough, we eventually hear you.

“This is a wonderful piece of green we’re going to enjoy for a long time.”

Construction on the first phase is anticipated to be completed in 2021.

Council said the fact that this is moving ahead is great news that wouldn’t be possible without the infrastructure levy.

_______

UPDATE: 10:10 a.m.

The Capital News Centre is set to see two new ice surfaces and more sports facilities.

Council approved a $230,000 cost to develop plans for the facility’s multi-year expansion.

The expansion as a whole is estimated to cost over $25 million.

_______

UPDATE: 9:55 a.m.

A priority 2 request from the Kelowna Fire Department for a new inspector is set to receive consideration from city council.

Fire Chief Travis Whiting said they are well behind on yearly inspections partially because of short term rentals such as Airbnb and as such is requesting an additional inspector.

The additional position would come at a cost of $84,000.

_______

ORIGINAL: 9:30 a.m.

And they’re off.

Kelowna city council has begun its deliberations on the 2020 budget and by the end of the day residents will have a better idea what their next municipal tax bill will look like.

The document proposes a 3.9 per cent tax increase made up of a 2.08 per cent in operations and a 1.82 per cent for the infrastructure levy.

The projected tax need for the city in 2020 is $151 million.

City manager Doug Gilchrest said he’s confident the budget will “meet the needs of the community.”

More to come throughout the day.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twit0ter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Group of cowboys on horses out rounding up cattle, 1888. The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is celebrating Vernon Winter Carnival’s Wild West theme with a virtual trip back in time looking at the ranching days. (GVMA #5021)
Museum rounds up Vernon’s wild west past

Vernon Winter Carnival event, Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch, Feb. 9

Virtual programming will assist the Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society in spreding environmental education. (ABNCS photo)
Vernon nature centre online with gaming grant

Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society benefits from provincial funds

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

Vernon Morning Star columnist Sam McNair gives an inside look to One Yoga in Vernon. (Sam McNair - Contributed)
Small Business Spotlight: One Yoga Vernon

It’s 2021 and everyone is looking forward to a new year full… Continue reading

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Windfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Central Okanagan school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say the person is self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read