Funding strategy to see development of key recreation sites endorsed by Council
Kelowna City Council approved a funding strategy for future development of active amenities across Kelowna including the redevelopment of Parkinson Recreation Centre along with developments and enhancements across Glenmore, Mission and Rutland.
“These facilities and spaces are essential to the overall wellbeing of our community as places for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect, be active, learn a new skill, and belong,” said Derek Edstrom, Partnerships and Investments Director, City of Kelowna. “Advancing the planning and delivery of the Glenmore and Mission Activity Centres along with strategic partnerships were identified as priorities as Council reviewed the Indoor Recreation Facilities Strategy and 10-year Capital Plan. This funding strategy considers the needs of our active amenities across the city collectively.”
With Council prioritizing stable tax increases for residents, the financial strategy anticipates less than a 5 per cent increase each year for the total City budget and does not negatively impact other planned projects.
“The spread of borrowing over the years of construction allows for the debt servicing costs to be added to the budget in a manner that reduces taxation spikes and instead steadily increases the taxation impact with the full impact being realized in 2029,” said Joe Sass, Financial Services Director, City of Kelowna.
Debt financing is considered an equitable and efficient funding source it spreads payment, and the associated tax impacts, for a community amenity over the generations that will benefit from the amenity, not just requiring funding from current residents to either save or front the cost of amenities at the time of replacement
The proposed projects would deliver on a core facility and campus at the heart of Kelowna, new activity centres in Glenmore and the Mission, and optimization of sport fields in Rutland as well as supporting community partnership opportunities.
Council approved the Functional Plan for a new Parkinson Recreation Centre earlier this year which features five times more gym space and larger aquatic and multi-purpose spaces. Depending on grant funding, the Activity Centres could potentially include 91 new childcare spaces at each space. Community partnership opportunities with Okanagan College, University of British Columbia Okanagan, and Central Okanagan Public Schools (School District 23) are being pursued to support collaboration on future projects.
Next steps will include preparation of the borrowing bylaw and elector approval of the loan authorization bylaw this summer.
Learn more about the projects at kelowna.ca/activeamenities.