West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom speaks to the Greater Westside Board of Trade for the annual state of the city address on Wednesday. (Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News)

Water treatment plant remains priority for West Kelowna

Gord Milsom shared the state of the city address with Greater Westside Board of Trade

It was a packed room for West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom’s state of the city address to the Greater Westside Board of Trade (GWBOT) on March 4.

Milsom reviewed the city’s past, present and future plans for economic development and community growth to a sold-out luncheon at Kelly O’Bryans. The annual address allowed the mayor to provide updates on the city’s biggest concerns, with this year’s main focus on the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant.

“In order for (the GWBOT) to attract workers to their business, good people to work, we need to ensure as a community that we have good, clean water; that we have a good civic presence and good roads,” said Milsom.

“So whatever we can do as a community and as a city to help invest and build our community, move our community forward, it’s good for business. It’s good for their employees, it’s good for attracting new employees to a good lifestyle here in West Kelowna and the Greater Westside.”

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Along with the water plant, Milsom gave updates on the city’s plan to build a new city hall, a $9.3 million investment towards Glenrosa Road repairs and continued work to “opt-out” of the B.C. speculation and vacancy tax.

Reviewing 2019, Milsom noted the growth of the city, with close to 2,000 new business licenses being issued over the past year along with continued housing and revitalization of the downtown core.

“I think we’re looking at 900 to 1,000 new units within the Westbank Centre area, which is great growth,” the mayor said.

“With that greater population, there will be more opportunities for businesses, restaurants and professional services that will benefit all of the residents of West Kelowna.”

Milsom said since incorporation in 2007, the city’s population has grown from 27,000 to almost 36,000.

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He said plans for a new city hall, which will not require a tax increase, remains a priority for West Kelowna council despite some disagreement from the public.

“The support far outweighs the negative feedback that we’ve seen within our community,” said Milsom.

“This council is committed to moving our community forward. If there are concerns in any way over a future city hall, our doors are open, come and talk to us.”

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