West Kelowna endorses long-term borrowing for fire station replacement
By City of West KelownaHeadlines News fire hall
Jan. 24, 2024, West Kelowna, B.C. – West Kelowna is going forward with an alternative approval process for long-term borrowing up to $8 million to partially fund the Fire Hall #32 Replacement Project.
As a requirement under the Community Charter, This process also ensures the community has an opportunity to submit an elector response form should an individual oppose long-term borrowing.
“Our firefighters, who protect our community around the clock, need an operational facility that meets regulatory standards for fire and life safety,” said Mayor Gord Milsom. “The current Fire Hall #32 is well past its lifespan, the building is well undersized and leaks, firefighters are stationed in portables, and some vehicles and equipment are housed in pop-up tents outside the fire hall. Council has assured the public that no new tax increases will result, and if the public is not opposed to long-term borrowing there is nothing they need to do,” said Milsom.
In a press release, the city said Fire Hall #32 is 53 years old and well beyond its useful life as a protective services facility. The facility also no longer complies with current operational and safety standards. Several studies, plans and documents demonstrate its poor, unsafe condition, and its failures to meet current regulations.
Further, the facility does not protect firefighters from contaminated gear and equipment, nor does it accommodate the apparatus used to protect the West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation communities.
The project also includes integrating the Lakeview Heights Community Centre, park area space and amenities.
The AAP period is scheduled to occur from Feb. 15 through March 15. If, after the 30-day AAP period, less than 10 per cent of the approximately 28,098 electors, or less than approximately 2,810 people, submit an elector response form to the city, then council can proceed with the certification process, and approval of the long-term borrowing would occur with no new tax increases.
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