Public washrooms are now open in West Kelowna. (City of West Kelowna)

Public washrooms are now open in West Kelowna. (City of West Kelowna)

West Kelowna leading the way in safe reopening

Staff said the city’s protocols are being used by other municipalities

The City of West Kelowna has reopened a number of its facilities and services as provincial restrictions ease, and it is proudly leading the way for other municipalities.

During the Tuesday, June 23 meeting, chief administrative officer Paul Gipps said it’s all thanks to the city staff’s hard work.

“We’ve worked very hard and we’re leading in some areas in the province, so much so that they’re actually using our examples of how to open facilities,” he said.

“We’re getting tremendous kudos and I just want to acknowledge the great work that staff in parks and recreation (are doing).”

Parks, recreation and culture manager Bob Kusch gave a presentation of which facilities are now open and how they are functioning under the “new normal”.

Kusch showed they have signage at facilities reminding people to observe physical distancing, hand sanitizer stations as well as where the designated seating areas are.

“In the (Jim Lind) arena, we’ve divided it in half. We have the first group come in one side, they then go through a door and participate on the ice and then come back to (their designated side). Once they leave, the next group comes in from the far side,” he said.

“This way, it gives us time to disinfect one side while another group is on the ice. We now have a procedure that allows us to have groups shifting and changing.”

Other West Kelowna facilities that have opened include the Westside Youth Centre (operated by the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs), beach volleyball, tennis and pickleball courts, playgrounds, public washrooms, as well as the spray park, which Kusch said is one of the first in the province to open.

Coun. Stephen Johnston congratulated staff and said the update was exciting.

“I feels so good to be on this side of the pandemic. Not that we’re totally through it, but we’re in this relaunch phase of life again, and that’s super encouraging,” he said.

“We’re very fortunate to have a great provincial health officer, and the residents of B.C. have done their part and not to mention the residents of West Kelowna.”

Coun. Jason Friesen said he was thankful and proud of all the staff had done.

“I think it’s so great that staff worked so quickly. Once we could go, you guys went and that’s fantastic. I’m proud as a councillor to hear that our staff are being utilized and consulted on provincial matters. Kudos to you guys.”

READ: Clearcutting for Trepanier Interconnect faces residents’ opposition

READ: City of West Kelowna to install trail cams to monitor turtle crossing at Westlake Road


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

City of West Kelowna

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

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services responded to a fire at the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation site Feb. 11, 2021. It was the fourth fire at the facility since it was built in 2005. (Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services photo)
Future uncertain for City of Revelstoke owned company

RCEC is using a backup system to provide heating after a fire forced the facility offline

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kelowna OK Tire closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The business will remain closed until May 11

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Most Read