Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Dec. 3, 2012 meeting of Penticton Council.

Citizen Survey report

A survey of citizens was conducted by Discovery Research to develop a baseline of citizen satisfaction with service levels and provision. A telephone survey was conducted with a random sample of 401 Penticton residents in September, generating findings that are accurate within ±4.9% at the 95% confidence interval (19 times out of 20). Key highlights include:

  • Most important issue facing Penticton: lack of jobs, poor economy. Forty-one percent of residents felt the single most issue facing the City of Penticton was the lack of jobs and the poor economy. This was followed by affordable housing at 8%.
  • Thirty-four percent of residents feel their favourite thing about living in Penticton is the climate and weather. Fifty-seven percent of Penticton residents feel the quality of life in Penticton has not changed in the past three years.
  • The service provided by City staff received excellent satisfaction rating, with 81% of respondents rating the friendliness and professionalism of staff as excellent.
  • The City is providing excellent service in the important areas of police services, fire services, water, sewer, parks and beaches and tourism. The City has room for improvement in the important areas of economic development and snow and ice removal.

The full 2012 Citizen Survey report is available for download [PDF - 1.4 MB].

Snow and ice removal policy

Council endorsed changes to the Snow and Ice Control Policy, including operational procedures developed by the Public Works Department over the years. The adjustment features including two sidewalk areas that in the past were the responsibility of the adjacent property owners, but their steep grades cause challenges for access.

Staff recommended adding Pineview Road (north side from Gardner Court to Pineview Place) and Balsam Avenue (north side adjacent to 705 Balsam Ave.) to the snow and ice clearing schedule. The additional sidewalks would cost the City approximately $25 per snow event to clear.

Snow Angel program

The Public Works department recommended Council consider a simplified version of the Snow Angel program to promote neighbourhood volunteers. Following the introduction of the program in November 2009, staff found the demand for snow-clearing volunteers far exceeds supply.

A simplified "Neighbours helping Neighbours" program was proposed to facilitate potential volunteers, featuring recognition and small gifts of appreciation (coffee mugs, etc.) to reward volunteers. Council approved the recommendation.

Building permit fee review

Council considered a staff report on amending two bylaws to accommodate a reduction in building permit charges. The Development Services Advisory Committee asked for a review of the building permit fee structure, particularly in comparison with other municipalities in the Okanagan and B.C. An analysis of the fees and structures indicated Penticton was higher than in other municipalities. Staff proposed three potential options ranging in fee reductions, tiers and levels.

Council considered Option A - which features a two-tiered sliding scale permit fee calculation with less aggressive reduction. A flat fee of $130 would be charged for permits between $1 and $25,000, while the next construction value tier ($25,000.01 to $500,000) would pay the $130 feet and $12 per $1,000 of construction value. Applications $500,001 and above in value would be $5,830 and $10 per $1,000 of construction value. The approach would encourage owners to apply for smaller permits.

Council endorsed Option A, as well as additional discounts for those permit applicants who employ the services of professionals to conduct the work. As well, proposed changes to costs for demolition, plumbing, mechanical and miscellaneous permits were approved. The proposed bylaw amendments will be brought back to Council for adoption on December 17th.

Electrical rates considered for 2013

Council considered revisions to the 2013 electrical rates to reflect a 1% Fortis cost of service adjustment increase, a 4.2% Fortis revenue requirement increase and a 1.28% increase to cover revenue loss from modelled numbers versus actual numbers. Council was presented three alternatives in the rate-setting process:

  • Alternative 1: Apply the 5.2% Fortis increase at the wholesale power purchase level and the 1.28% revenue loss increase at the retail power sale level for a total increase of 5.69%.
  • Alternative 2: Apply the 5.2% Fortis increase at the retail power sale level and the 1.28% revenue loss increase at the retail power sale level for a total increase of 7.2%.
  • Alternative 3: Apply an average of the Fortis increases from Alternatives 1 and 2 and the 1.28% revenue loss increase at the retail power sale level for a total increase of 6.45%.

A public input session has been scheduled for Dec. 17, 2012, and first three readings of the amending bylaw for electrical rates is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2013.

RDOS appointments for 2013

Mayor Dan Ashton, Coun. Garry Litke, Coun. Andrew Jakubeit and Coun. John Vassilaki were named as Penticton's directors to the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen for 2013. Coun. Judy Sentes was named first alternate, followed by Coun. Wes Hopkin as second alternate and Coun. Helena Konanz as third alternate.

Budget schedule revised

An additional day was scheduled for 2013 budget deliberations, and the lineup of presentation was adjusted slightly. On Friday, Dec. 7, Penticton Fire Department, accounting, purchasing, colelctions, animal control, human resources and electrical departments will present, in addition to general overviews on projected revenues, grants and operating budget considerations. On Monday, Dec. 10, capital discussions will get underway for electric, recreation, facilities, information technology and general projects.

For information or to download budget presentations, visit www.penticton.ca/budget2013. Citizens and stakeholders are also invited to take part in the "Social Budget 2013" by tweeting questions and comments using the hashtag #penbudget13 or posting items on the City of Penticton's Facebook page.

Nominators policy considered

Coun. Helena Konanz gave a notice of motion to amend the City of Penticton's bylaw pertaining to the minimum number of electors.

The motion calls for an increase to the minimum number of qualified nominators to make a nomination for office as a member of Council to be 25, as authorized under Sec. 71 of the Local Government Act. The motion did not receive enough support, and did not pass.

 


 

Penticton Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 123 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online.