Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Jan. 12, 2015 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

Firefighter honoured

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit presented Firefighter Curtis Gibbons with a Certificate of Commendation from the Governor General of Canada for assistance in the act of bravery, after he helped a drowning swimmer in 2012.

He was walking with his wife near the last set of stairs on the River Channel before it enters Skaha Lake on June 10, 2012. His wife overhead people yelling for help, so the pair ran under the bridge and around the corner to the beach. They noticed someone struggling to keep their head above water in the lake, and people around the lake were calling for help as they could not reach the swimmer. Given it was shallow for a long distance, Curtis ran a long ways out toward the swimmer – who had been carried by the channel's current and couldn't swim back in. Curtis reached the swimmer, instructed him to roll onto his back and then dragged him approximately 100 feet to a boater who noticed the events. When they arrived on shore, emergency responders were just arriving on scene.

Curtis thanked the Mayor and Fire Chief Wayne Williams for the recognition, and noted it was an honour to wear the uniform in serving the Penticton public.

Main Street revitalization progress

Council moved the next stages of the Downtown Plan forward, with the first phase of Main Street's new future. Since 2011, more than $8 million in new development and private investment has been made in Downtown Penticton, ranging from large-scale commercial developments, new multi-family residential development, renovations of existing buildings, and development of vacant sites.

Significant discussion has occurred about what public investment should happen in the immediate future, as an extensive public consultation and design process for Main Street has been held this year. Following this discussion, the Downtown Revitalization Select Advisory Committee made two recommendations to Council in terms of which projects to move forward: the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street and endorsement of the proposed North Park design phased in over time.

The North Green revitalization of Gyro Park outlines a flexible and vibrant green space that adds trees, playground equipment and the ability to temporarily close Gyro to vehicles with a traffic re-routing available north of City Hall. Proposals for the 200 block of Main enhance the pedestrian environment by increasing the width of sidewalk areas on both sides of the street, and allowing businesses to use 2.65 metres of dedicated storefront use spaces. Parking and one-way traffic are both maintained, and underground infrastructure would also be improved.

There are several funding methods, including the Government of Canada's Canada Fund for small municipalities and Gas Tax Funds. Penticton Council endorsed the application to the Building Canada – Small Communities Grant program for the upgrading of Main Street from Lakeshore Dr. to Nanaimo Ave. Council adopted the bylaw that would establish a local area service and to authorize the construction of street improvements in the first phase of Main Street.

Electrical rates

Council adopted changes to electrical rates, following a five-week process and the public meeting held on Jan. 7. Council elected to incorporate the blended rate increase of 4.4% for 2015, starting Feb. 1, 2015. This alternative blends the wholesale rate that the City of Penticton buys power from FortisBC and BC Hydro (3.7%) and a typical retail rate (5.11%). Revenues from the City's Electric Utility support the capital works program to upgrade municipal infrastructure, but have also been supporting large-scale electrical system upgrades required under a master plan.

Fees and Charges Bylaw

Council passed three readings of the Fees and Charges Bylaw, which outlines how much the City will charge for given services and products. Changes were made to dog licensing, building permits, postage fee, cemetery, equipment rates, false fire alarms, planning, Penticton Community Centre admission, recreation programming, street vending, theatre rentals, water and sewer rates. Final adoption is scheduled for Jan. 19.

890 Three Mile Rd.

Council considered an outstanding matter relating to 890 Three Mile Road. Inspections and correspondence have been ongoing since March of 2014, and the owner was invited to speak at Monday's meeting.

Council voted to provide the homeowner 60 days to obtain a geo-technical engineer assessment and address the outstanding building permit on the site. If this does not transpire, a Sec. 57 will be registered on title.

Yorkton Avenue rezoning

Council passed first reading of a zoning amendment for 96 Yorkton Ave., that would permit renovations to the existing house to accommodate daycare operations for up to 20 children. Under provincial legislation, daycare centres for up to eight children can be operated despite local zoning restrictions, but is required to meet minimum play areas and health and safety standards. In the case where a daycare operator has more than eight children, zoning does apply. A public hearing will be held on Feb. 2.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 154 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online