The following information is being provided to our residents regarding the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We encourage individuals and families to be familiar with the advice and resources referenced, along with where to obtain additional information on this subject.
Please be advised, on all matters concerning public health, the City of Penticton is guided by expertise and direction given by local, provincial and federal health authorities.
With its brand new website in place, the City of Penticton is encouraging residents to subscribe for online updates providing information on recently issued announcements and emergency alerts.
“If there was ever a time to subscribe for online updates issued by our City’s communication team, it’s now,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki. “Whether its information relating to COVID-19 or general alerts on City services or decisions, to stay informed, residents can visit the city website, select ‘subscribe for updates’ and enter their email address”.
To get started, please go to - https://www.penticton.ca/city-hall/news-alerts/subscribe-updates
The City of Penticton’s Economic Development Department has engaged with key stakeholders in the local business community to create an Economic Recovery Task Force to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Task Force held its first virtual meeting on March 27 to investigate measures the City can take to support local residents, businesses and workers during these challenging times. The Task Force will continue to meet as often as required to develop a plan for relief and recovery.
As part of this process, local businesses will soon be asked to complete a survey to give the Task Force a better understanding of the situation and of what support may be required.
“The health and safety of the public and staff has been our first priority as this crisis unfolds, but we also need to do everything we can to help both our businesses and residents who are financially impacted, ensuring we come out of this situation in a strong position,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki. “This Task Force, made up of business leaders in the community, is a positive first step to work together on a path to recovery.”
Although City Hall is closed, City staff work behind the scenes to ensure services will continue. Penticton’s Economic Development team is available to answer any questions and offer support. They’re also collaborating with Travel Penticton, Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, WorkBC, Small Business BC and Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen on various initiatives, including creating webinars to help businesses access government support and training, as well as a campaign to promote buying local.
Importantly, Penticton’s Development Services team will continue to provide the development industry the support it needs to continue construction projects. This includes issuing building permits and conducting inspections.
The new task force will include the following membership:
- Blake Laven, Director Development Services, City of Penticton
- Ken Kunka, Deputy Director Development Services, City of Penticton
- Andrew Kemp, Economic Development Specialist, City of Penticton
- Thom Tischik, Executive Director, Travel Penticton
- Larry Olson, Regional Manager Rural Development, Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development
- Charles Cornell, General Manager, Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen
- Lee Agur, Co-Owner, Bad Tattoo Brewery
- Judy Richards, General Manager, Cherry Lane Shopping Centre
- Mark Melissen, President, Wildstone
- Frank Conci, President, Penticton Industrial Development Association
- Diane Kereluk, Executive Director, Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce
- Jonathan Baynes, CEO, K’ul Management
- Lynn Allin, Executive Director, Downtown Penticton Association
- John Skinner, Proprietor, Painted Rock Estate Winery
Keeping our community informed
The following resources are available to stay up-to-date with the latest City updates involving COVID-19.
- The Economic Development Department launched a business support resource page at starthereokanagan.com/blog.
- View the City’s toolkit at penticton.ca/covid19toolkit, which provides support for residents and businesses who have been affected.
- Access the latest City announcements and updates at penticton.ca/covid19.
Additional steps taken by the City
- Free street parking to support local businesses downtown
- Opened a Call Centre to handle inquiries
- Suspending utility disconnections for non-payment
- Evaluating the possibility of deferring property tax deadline
- Continuing as many business-related services as possible
- Temporary cashier at the SOEC
How to contact us
If you’re a local business that has questions or would like to be connected with resources, please contact the City of Penticton Economic Development department at 250-490-2591 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Penticton has created an online COVID-19 Support Toolkit to give residents and businesses a local source of information about resources now available across all levels of government.
Whether you’re a worker who has been laid off, a business facing hardship or an individual wondering if you’re eligible for extra financial support, users will be able to see what funding is being offered.
“The daily volume of newly released COVID-19 information can be overwhelming,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki. “By grouping many of the most recent and significant announcements into a single location, we’ve created a helpful and simple to use resource that all residents can turn to when looking for information during this health crisis.”
To access the toolkit, visit the city’s new website at www.penticton.ca/covid19toolkit.
The City will be updating the toolkit as new information becomes available.
Want to speak to someone in person? Call the city’s EOC Call Centre at 250-490-2345.
Effective Monday, March 23, 2020 City Hall is being closed to the public due to the COVID-19 response.
The City of Penticton is committed to supporting our local development industry through the current COVID-19 event. Our staff are here to support your projects, ensuring that we can continue providing service to you.
As a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus and support the safety of clients and employees, we are temporarily limiting in-person contact with staff members. We direct everyone to follow recommended protocols and best practices for prevention and mitigation (hygiene, limited contacts and social distancing).
Please contact our Development Services staff:
- In-person appointments with Building Officials, Planners and Development Engineering are cancelled until further notice. Please connect with your file manager or building official by telephone or email (quoting your Development Application file or Building Permit number).
- Please forward any Liquor Licensing or Business Licence applications or changes of information to email@example.com.
- Please forward road closure applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Inquiries related to property file search requests can be directed to email@example.com or visit our Property File Information page.
- Please note that property information, mapping and some payments (including business licensing) can be accessed through online services.
- MyCity can be used to monitor your business license account, track building permits, book building permit inspections and make some payments.
Apply for your Planning Application:
- Development applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Only complete application packages will be processed. If you’re unsure about whether your application submission is complete, please give us a call and we review it with you over the telephone. Acknowledgement of receipt will be provided by email.
Apply for your Building Permit:
- Building Permit applications can be emailed to email@example.com. All supporting information must be received as one complete package. Only complete application submission will be processed. Acknowledgement of receipt will be provided by email.
Building Permit Applications:
Applicants should complete the checklist(s) that form part of the Building Permit application form. If you’re unsure about whether your application submission is complete, please give us a call and we review it with you over the telephone.
- We will call you to let you know when your Building Permit is ready to issue. Payment of the permit fees can be made by cheque payable to the City of Penticton and can be placed in the Drop Box at the City Hall, (right of the doors), sent via mail or paid at the SOEC box office.
- Alternatively, starting Wednesday April 1, persons with a MyCity account will be able to pay outstanding building permit balances up to $15,000 via credit card. This service is provided through Paymentus and there is a 2.95% transaction fee associated with this online payment option. For more information see payments.
- Once payment has been received, pick-up of Permit packages must be coordinated with staff. Please contact us at (250) 490-2571 to make arrangements suitable to your circumstances.
Book your Building Inspection:
- Building inspections will continue but some site visits may be limited, staff will contact you directly if to ensure safety protocols are followed (i.e. limiting the number of people present at the time of inspection). Please note that a minimum of 2.0m spatial separation must be maintained and site contacts must not be ill or potentially exposed within the last 14 days to persons with or under investigation for COVID-19 or have been on a commercial flight.
- All inspection notices will be forwarded via email to the pre-assigned contacts. If you have questions, concerns please contact your building official directly and forward all documents, photos, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org with associated address and building permit subject header. Please do not attend City Hall to drop off information or to speak directly to inspectors.
- No inspections will be carried out in occupied homes or commercial buildings. Staff will coordinate directly regarding site condition requirements and re-inspections at a later date.
- Failure to arrange for the necessary inspections (see your permit condition letter) or start work without a valid permit will be stopped worked with associated penalties.
We are here to help:
- Some staff may be working remotely from home on a rotating basis. We anticipate being able to provide a response to most inquiries and service requests as normal, however, there may be some delay or modest interruptions as we adjust.
- Planning – email@example.com or (250) 490-2501
- Road closures – firstname.lastname@example.org or (250) 490-2501
- Building Permits – email@example.com or (250) 490-2571
- Business & Liquor Licensing – firstname.lastname@example.org or (250) 490-2488
We will continue to be available via telephone and email to keep things running and to assist you during regular business hours. We thank you for your patience and will continue to update you on any further changes.
Council has asked staff to evaluate the impacts of deferring the property tax deadline until September 30, 2020.
“We are looking at what we can do at the municipal level to assist our residents, businesses and non-profits in making it through the COVID-19 public health emergency,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki. “We recognize that the timing of property taxes may add to the financial burden so adjusting the deadline is worth considering.”
The City normally issues tax notices to property owners in June with the deadline for tax payment July 31, 2020. At the request of Council, staff will evaluate what a two-month delay in collecting property taxes would mean to City finances, including how it will affect cash flow.
“Property tax is one of the City’s primary sources of revenue,” said Vassilaki. “We need to ensure we fully understand the impacts before making this decision.”
Staff will report their findings and provide recommendations at a future Council meeting when regular proceedings resume.
City Council is encouraging Penticton residents to stay safe during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Effectively immediately, there will be no charge for metered parking on city streets through to May 30, 2020.
“This decision supports shorter visits to businesses and access to essential services in our downtown,” says Mayor John Vassilaki. “It also recognizes that with the reduced activity, our bylaw team can be allocated more effectively and focus on more important matters.”
Monthly parking at the City’s scramble and reserved lots and hourly pay stationed lots are not affected by this change. All traffic bylaws remain in effect except paid on-street parking restrictions. While parking is free, the time restrictions will remain to discourage the long-term use of on-street parking spaces.
The availability of free parking is a welcome announcement for downtown businesses. “From the Downtown Penticton Association’s perspective, any time complimentary parking is offered, it is a benefit to downtown businesses,” says Executive Director Lynn Allin with the Downtown Penticton Association. “Free parking in the downtown will support those business that are currently operating during this challenging time.”
The City will revisit the decision to offer free on-street parking in advance of May 30, 2020. Citizens who have questions about parking are invited to contact Bylaw Services at (250) 490-2440 or by email at email@example.com.
Effective today through May 30, the City of Penticton has closed tennis courts, pickle ball courts, lacrosse courts, playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields, dog parks, outdoor fitness equipment facilities and basket ball courts to support requirements for social distancing. All indoor City facilities, currently closed, will now remain closed until May 30.
“We continue to see large groups of people using these facilities, something that is in direct violation of the order to social distance from the Provincial Health Officer,” says Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki. “Through regular contact with our partners at all levels, the City of Penticton is doing its part to ensure our facility operations support the direction and advice being given. We have reached the point where the closure of many outdoor facilities is now in the best interest of everyone.”
Residents are reminded that the order for social distancing directs citizens to remain at home as much as possible, stay 2m apart when outside the home, limit errands and appointments and do not gather in groups.
Bylaw officers will be monitoring City parks to educate citizens about the closure and the need for social distancing.
The City of Penticton has suspended all utility disconnections for non-payment until June 30 to support customers who may be experiencing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“This is a very stressful time for many of our citizens and we hope these measures provide some welcome flexibility,” says Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki.
The changes align with the direction provided by the British Columbia Utilities Commission.
The City will revisit the need to continue these changes in advance of June 30, 2020. Citizens who have questions or specific needs are invited to contact the City’s utilities clerks at firstname.lastname@example.org or (250) 490-2489.
Message from the Mayor Vassilaki - City Council has been following the advice of our health agencies and provincial and federal governments to ready our community from the risks of COVID-19 by implementing measures to protect our residents and staff.
Effective Friday, March 20 at 4:30 p.m., the City of Penticton will close its City Hall and Public Works Building to the public as an additional means to support social distancing and staff safety in the fight to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“Our top priority remains the long-term health of our community and our staff,” says Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki. “With several different options available for accessing the services provided at City Hall, it makes sense to further reduce the risk of exposure and close these facilities to the public.”
Services provided at City Hall will continue to be supported throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency. Options for taking care of the most common requests can be obtained by visiting the City’s website – www.penticton.ca or contacting the City’s call centre at 250-490-2345. In addition, residents wishing to make payments can visit the kiosks at the South Okanagan Events Centre; non cash payments are preferred.
For additional information, please download the following information and contact summary.
In an effort to share accurate and timely information concerning recent decisions intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Penticton has opened a call centre to handle specific inquiries on impacts to City services and programming.
“Following this week’s decision to close City facilities and cancel recreation programming, residents with questions resulting from these decisions can reach out to the call centre for help”, said Emergency Operations Centre Public Information Officer, Philip Cooper.
The call centre is staffed between the hours of 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and can be reached by dialing:
Emergency Operation Centre is now activated
To support all efforts locally, provincially and federally to coordinate and share information and operationalize decisions, the City has opened its Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) during daytime business hours.
“In the event that further actions are required locally, our activated EOC will ensure we’re in a strong position to respond in a fast, coordinated and joint manner that supports the health and safety of our community,” said Penticton Emergency Operation Centre Director, Larry Watkinson.
In addition, the City of Penticton has prepared a business continuity plan that has been enacted and updated as the local situation evolves. The EOC supports the activation of this plan.
To support national, provincial and regional efforts to contain and control the spread of COVID-19, the City of Penticton is implementing the following preventative measures.
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, the Penticton Community Centre, Cleland Theatre, McLaren Arena, Library and Museum, along with the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, South Okanagan Events Centre and Memorial Arena, will be closed to the public.
“This decision follows warnings from the Provincial Government to avoid mass gatherings of 50 people or more”, said City Manager, Donny van Dyk. “We have reviewed the advice provided by senior governments concerning mass gatherings and have determined that the volume of traffic entering our facilities, combined with the difficulty of practicing the safe social distancing once inside, has created a situation whereby it’s in our community’s best interest to close these facilities until April 6.”
Prior to April 6th, the City will re-evaluate this decision to determine if these closures will remain in place or can be lifted.
While public reception areas at City Hall and the Yards Building will remain open, residents are strongly encouraged to conduct business with staff by phone.
- For City Hall, dial- 250-490-2400
- For the Yards Building (Public Works), dial – 250-490-2500
- For Recreation, dial – 250-490-2426 (extension six)
Out of an abundance of caution, the City is cancelling the Regular Council meeting on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. In addition, the following committee meetings and public engagement events have also been cancelled.
- March 18 - Community Sustainable Advisory Committee Meeting
- March 18 - 2020 Agriculture Advisory Committee Meeting
- March 25 and 26 – Lake to Lake Bike Route public engagement events
- April 3 - Economic Prosperity & Development Services Advisory Committee Meeting
- April 6 - Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Meeting
The City of Penticton is monitoring our situation closely and is working with Interior Health and other health agencies to ensure our community has access to current and accurate information, including recommended protocols for avoiding infection from COVID-19 and, if needed, coordinated in place contingency planning for the delivery of municipal services.
Those seeking information on the spread and risk of COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to learn the facts from official Canadian health authorities, including those listed below. As an important first step, all Penticton residents should observe the same precautions used when avoiding contact with regular cold or flu viruses. This includes:
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Maintain social distancing of at least 2 metres between persons
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
Any one who suspects they may have symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately call 8-1-1 for an assessment. The Public Health Agency of Canada has created a toll-free phone number (1-833-784-4397) to answer questions from Canadians about COVID-19.
For more detailed information and updates, please visit the following websites: