A $100,000 downtown parking study was rejected by Kamloops City council on the closest of votes Tuesday (Nov. 7, 2017).
After more than an hour of debate, the proposed study was defeated on a 4-4 tie, with Councillors Tina Lange, Denis Walsh, Donovan Cavers and Arjun Singh voting against it, and Mayor Ken Christian and Councillors Pat Wallace, Ray Dhaliwal and Kathy Sinclair in favour.
The study immediately became controversial as soon as it appeared on the council agenda for this week’s regular council meeting. Council members who wanted the study said it made sense to look at what will be needed for downtown parking over the next 20 years, while those who opposed the study said the cost was too high, and that it was unnecessary.
Although the study was defeated, there were clues that it might succeed if brought back in a different form and possibly with some fine-tuning on the cost and approach.
Coun. Arjun Singh, noting that public feedback was negative on the proposal, said he’d like to see a more broad-based study on transportation alternatives. “A lot of the questions (that would be part of the study) seem things a university student in second year could go around with a clipboard and figure out the answers.”
Walsh said the price tag was “too rich” for him, and Cavers said, “I don’t think we need to do this… At a certain point we need to say we have enough information.”
Christian had a different point of view. “Yes, it’s a lot of money” but “I think we need to do this and once and for all get to a point where we have some surety about the direction we’re going to take.”
Corporate services director David Duckworth said the cost may well be less than $100,000 but it’s better not to under-estimate. He said the study could address some broader transportation issues as well.
Coun. Dieter Dudy was absent.