Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna to open some public facilities in phased-in reopening plan

Playgrounds, indoor recreation facilities, aquatics facilities, arenas, theatres to remain closed

The City of Kelowna has announced its plans to reopen some municipal facilities as pandemic restrictions ease.

Several city-owned recreational amenities are slated to reopen starting May 15, including tennis courts , pickleball courts, BMX tracks, skate parks and disk golf.

For now, playgrounds, indoor recreation facilities, aquatics facilities, arenas and theatres will remain closed.

Mayor Colin Basran suggests Parkinson Recreation Centre could be opened progressively based on the recommendations from the province.

“Larger activity spaces could be used sooner than smaller spaces to ensure safe physical distancing,” said the mayor.

Waterparks, basketball courts, volleyball courts, ball diamonds and playgrounds could open in the near future so long as the city can meet provincial recommendations.

The city is also planning to offer summer programs and kids camps, with modifications to ensure safe physical distancing is possible and proper hygiene protocols are in place in alignment with Work Safe BC guidelines.

“In saying that, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated measures are frequently evolving and information can change quickly,” said Basran.

“We are prepared to respond accordingly if changes are needed to ensure the safety of our residents and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We need to progress together, slowly and safely.”

The mayor said several private businesses are also anticipated to open in the coming weeks including retail stores, hair salons, barbers, counselling services, restaurants, cafes, pubs, museums, art galleries and libraries.

“It was great to see the Chamber of Commerce launch its OK We Got This campaign, and the T-shirt campaign launched this week to support local businesses. Every little bit helps and I call on everyone to support local business whenever we can so that our local economy comes through this is a strong position,” said Basran.

Similar measures are being taken across the Okanagan as the whole valley prepares to reopen.

As we navigate reopening plans, it’s encouraging to be part of a coordinated and thoughtful approach that sees the region progressing at the same pace where possible,” said Jim Gabriel, the divisional director of active living and culture at the City of Kelowna. “The reopening process is continuing to evolve through collaborations with provincial agencies and will be able to proceed as long as citizens continue to use physical distancing and follow the guidance of our provincial health officer.”

The Regional Mayors’ and Westbank First Nation Chief’s Economic Recovery Task Force has developed an action plan and is scheduled to have its first monthly meeting next week.

Some of the focus areas for the task force will include providing Central Okanagan communities a forum to identify economic recovery needs, positioning and advocating for anticipated stimulus program funding for the Central Okanagan businesses and their employees, communicate Central Okanagan needs to other levels of government and identify available areas for collaborative projects to support economic recovery.

READ MORE: Kelowna council green lights new drive-thru despite staff’s climate concerns

READ MORE: Kelowna mayor wants to expand open spaces for restaurants

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Salmon Arm man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Ken Derkach apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

From mouldy attics to giant wasp nests, Shuswap home inspector shares surprising finds

Salmon Arm’s Brad Campbell assembling photo gallery of disturbing discoveries

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Shuswap History in Pictures: Floodwater food run

A young boy rows through Sicamous’ streets during the 1972 flood.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read