Penticton Council Meeting Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what during the May 22 regular meeting of Council.

Bike to Work Week challenge accepted

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen employee Rowena Tansley accepts the Bike to Work Week Challenge issued by City of Penticton staff during the RDOS board meeting held the week previous.

City Planning Manager Jake Belobaba and Planning Technician Blake Laven explained during the Regional District meeting that whichever organization has the lowest participation rate for Bike to Work Week among its staff will have the losing organization's CAO push Mayor and Regional District Chair Dan Ashton down the street while riding a "Penny Farthing." The old-fashioned bicycle is on loan for the challenge.

Tansley attended Tuesday's Council meeting to officially accept the challenge and suggest a cycling uniform for the Mayor/Chair to wear during the one-block cycle ride: a full suit with tails, cravat and top hat.

Skaha Marina lease renewal approved

Penticton Council approved a two-year lease renewal with Penticton Yamaha and Marine until Dec. 31, 2013 for the licence to use the building commonly known as Skaha Marina. The lease would see an increased fee to $33,000 per year for 2012 and 2013 seasons. No capital maintenance requirements are associated with the lease and routine dock maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of the tenants.

Building lease approval considered

Council instructed staff to proceed with a five-year agreement to lease the south portion of 888 Westminster Ave. West to allow the operation of a wealth management business. The lease terms are $11 per square foot of the 1,765 sq. ft. space, plus $3.50 additional rent to include taxes, insurance and utilities. There is also a five-year option to renew the lease.

Audited financial statements approved

Chief Financial Officer Doug Leahy presented the City's financial statements and the independent auditor's report by BDO Dunwoody for the 2011 fiscal year. The independent auditor's report concluded the financial statements present fairly the financial position of the Corporation of the City of Penticton as of Dec. 31, 2011. Coun. Garry Litke commented on the significant steps the City has taken to reduce its debt: from $40 million to $30 million, representing a 25 percent reduction. Mayor Dan Ashton praised the accounting department for its work on the annual financial statements. Council unanimously approved the audited financial statements.

Fees for AMR meter opt-out approved

Council approved three readings of changes to the fees and charges bylaw to establish how much it would cost for residents to opt-out of having electrical and water utility automated meter reading (AMR) devices.

At the May 7 regular meeting, Penticton Council approved an Operations Department recommendation to allow for an opt-out policy for residents looking for alternatives to AMR electrical and water meters. The opt-out policy defines that it is the role of federal authorities (not utility companies or municipalities) to evaluate the health, safety and privacy concerns relating to AMR meters, and that those being used in the City of Penticton meet federal and provincial regulatory standards.

Council asked staff to review the corresponding charges for opting out based on field trials. After conducting a series of manual reads at locations based on all known individuals seeking opt-out and additional random sites to bring the total number to 20, the time to read those meters and then manually enter the data into the accounting department was tracked. Staff then adjusted the opt-out meter reading fees accordingly and submitted them under revised bylaw for Council approval.

Wiltse off-leash dog park plan reconsidered

Council approved the staff recommendation to not proceed with the public consultation and development plans for an off-leash dog area at 650 Wiltse Blvd. In September, Council approved the creation of four off-leash dog parks within the City of Penticton: Ellis Creek Trail Head, 1900 Penticton Ave., 616 Okanagan Ave., and 650 Wiltse Blvd. Of the four parks proposed, the Wiltse site was the only one located within a residential area. Because of this, staff planned on conducting public consultation to gauge support within the area for an off-leash dog area.

School District 67 was consulted for feedback, and Wiltse School staff indicated students often use Wiltse Nature Park for exercise, education, art and wildlife studies. Concerns

were expressed regarding potential traffic, parking demands and waste the park could generate with off-leash uses permitted. Given the District's concerns as a major stakeholder, staff recommended no construction of an off-leash dog park for the property.

 


Penticton Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [118 KB] is also available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are available online.