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Evacuation route for West Kelowna’s Casa Loma community on hold

$750,000 was included in the 2023 budget to enhance an existing walking trail
West Kelowna City Hall. (Black Press file photo)

West Kelowna council has put off, for now, funding an emergency exit route for the Casa Loma community.

Staff included $750,000 in the 2023 budget to enhance an existing walking trail, between Lakeview Road and Casa Palmero Drive, to be used in the event of an emergency such as a wildfire. Construction is planned for spring 2023.

During budget deliberations on Jan. 31, Coun. Rick de Jong was concerned that the price tag would deplete the capital reserve fund.

“I can’t support it,” he said. “We don’t have money in the bank to pay for it.”

De Jong added he would consider putting off the project until 2024.

An emergency exit route has long been a safety concern for residents at Casa Loma Lakeshore Resort, as Campbell Road is their only exit in the event of an evacuation.

READ MORE: Casa Loma evacuation plan ‘step in right direction’ but more needed

City CAO Paul Gipps told council that there is a “revenue side to the project that is being discussed,” and more information will be coming. Council voted to defer a decision on the project until it could review the information and potentially include the project in the 2023 budget.

Municipalities in B.C. have until April 30 to adopt their budgets and financial plans.

READ MORE: Boucherie Road upgrades ‘too risky to delay’: West Kelowna mayor


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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