A brief and informal summary of the latest decisions made by Penticton City Council.
Safe Public Spaces bylaw moving ahead
The Safe Public Spaces bylaw that will establish expectations for public behaviours in Penticton received second and third reading.
After receiving a report on the public engagement and consultation with the medical health officer, Council unanimously agreed to proceed with the bylaw that will also provide Community Safety Officers more authority to enforce the regulations and allow RCMP to focus on more serious offences. For more on the Safe Public Spaces bylaw, go here
Crime stats show hopeful trend
A focus on prolific offenders is having the desired impact, according to the latest quarterly report from the RCMP.
Staff Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck presented the statistics which show a decrease in property crime in the first four months of 2023 – particularly auto theft, bicycle theft and break and enter in businesses.
He noted an increase in the total number of calls for service over the same period last year, but pointed out that some COVID restrictions were still in place during that time frame.
Plenty planned for Seniors Week
Council has proclaimed the first week of June as Seniors Week in Penticton to pay thanks for the contributions made by seniors in shaping the community. It is also a chance to highlight the many services and events available to seniors.
The City will be offering free transit as part of seniors. For a complete list of activities, go to www.seniorswellnesssociety.com/bcseniorsweek
Growing Communities Fund focus on community groups
Council has increased the share of the pie that will go to community projects under the Growing Communities Fund.
As first proposed, the $7.1 million provided by the provincial government for capital projects, would have been divided three ways: 20 per cent to cover any unexpected or inflationary cost of already active projects, 40 per cent for projects around development of the North Gateway and 40 per cent on community projects that would include downtown, Skaha Lake and Lakeshore decorative lighting, lighting at Riverside Park skateboard park and basketball courts, the Urban Forest Master Plan and the Kiwanis Pier replacement.
Council made the decision to reduce the North Gateway share to 30 per cent and shift it to the community projects fund with the intention of allowing more groups to potentially participate in accessing the funds.
More enforcement for short-term rentals
Council has agreed to step up enforcement on short-term rentals, introduce a new classification system and ask platforms like Airbnb and Vrboo not to list properties that don’t have a business licence.
The decision comes after the presentation of the Short-Term Rental Benefit and Impact Study which highlighted the benefits and challenges that the sector brings to Penticton. As well, the report will be forwarded to the Official Community Plan Housing Task Force as a background document to inform future policy changes.
More details on the report can be found here.
Capital upgrades update
Council received a report on the capital works project underway but also removed one from the list.
The proposed scroll lights, which would have been installed over Lakeshore Drive at Power Street, was unanimously pulled from the projects lists. The total cost of the project was an estimated $250,000.
Two motions passed
Council agreed to add a sentence on the monthly utility bill noting that Council approved borrowing funds from the Electric Surplus Reserve for the purpose of constructing the Fire Hall 2 two bay garage, Point Intersection and Bike Network Plan with repayment over 10 years and the amount of each should be listed along with the amount of the electrical dividend.
As well, Council directed staff to look at how other communities are addressing surplus, debt, investment and reserves and report back with a proposed strategy framework prior to budget.
These highlights are intended to provide a brief summary of recent Council proceedings. The summary is not inclusive of all agenda items. For a detailed account of the full agenda, including staff reports, other supporting documents and official meeting minutes, please consult the City’s website (www.penticton.ca/council) or call the City’s Communication Department at 250-490-2400.