A brief and informal summary of the latest decisions made by Penticton City Council.
Real Acts of Caring Week proclaimed
Eight students from KVR Middle School made a compelling argument to Council on the impact Real Acts of Caring can have on a community.
In their presentation, students noted that RAC is important because it boosts mental health and actually has a 75 per cent chance of boosting happiness and mental well-being and that practicing RAC leads to a safer, happier and friendlier environment for all.
The students asked that February 11 and 17th be declared Real Acts of Caring Week in Penticton and that request was granted.
For more ideas on how you can take part in Real Acts of Caring, visit their website at http://www.realactsofcaring.org
Crime statistics continue to trend in right direction
As Council continues to make community safety a priority, the latest statistics from the RCMP and Bylaw Services show a continued positive trend.
RCMP Superintendent Beth McAndie told Council that in 2023 there was an overall reduction of 17 per cent in overall case files handled by the detachment. Property crime saw a reduction of nine per cent, while violent crime saw an increase of nine per cent.
"Our Special Victims Unit is our dedicated team that oversees our highest risk intimate partner violence investigations. And the Special Victims Unit shares key partnerships within our community, with the South Okanagan Women in Need Society, the Ministry for Children and Family Development, or the sexual assault forensic examination program with Interior Health," said McAndie. "The victim services team [is] working in partnership to support those experiencing violence and relationships and earning the trust of these individuals to come forward to police."
Bylaw Services manager Tina Mercier noted that calls for service has increased as a result of the See Something, Say Something campaign encouraging people to report suspicious activity.
As well, she noted the implementation of the Safe Public Spaces Bylaw, which provided more authority to Community Safety Officers, has had an impact. “We did see more businesses request for assistance at their properties. This response option has allowed for more support to businesses throughout the city and alleviated some non-criminal calls for service to the RCMP,” Mercier said.
Approval for ESS grant application
Council gave the nod for the City’s Emergency Support Services to apply for a Union of BC Municipalities’ Community Emergency Preparedness Fund for $30,000.
Penticton ESS recently received the Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award for their work during the 2021 wildfire season.
The grant funding will allow for continued investment into the team and supports capacity building for future events.
More housing on the way
Council gave second and third reading to a new development on Conklin Avenue that would see the construction of two-storey, six unit project.
The project was originally proposed as a three-storey, eight unit development but, following public engagement, it was redesigned to the current application.
New waste collection agreement okayed
Council agreed to amend the financial plan from 2025 onwards to allow for a new waste collection agreement that will run until 2032.
The City of Penticton partnered with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and neighbouring south Okanagan communities on a regional RFP for waste collection services to leverage economies of scale and take advantage of efficiencies with vehicle procurement and route design.
The current contract expires on June 30, 2025 and the lead time is to allow for the successful contractor to procure new collection vehicles, which can take up to 18 months. The City is proposing to sign the agreement with the current provider, Waste Connections of Canada.
The estimated annual collection cost is expected to be approximately $1,370,000 when the current contract expires next year. The estimated annual cost of the new Agreement when it commences is $1,580,000.
The current annual user fees for curbside collection properties are $193, and $36 for multifamily properties, and this report has no implications to the 2024 fees and charges.
Updated traffic management policy okayed
Council approved the “Neighborhood Traffic Management Policy” which is designed to ensure Penticton residential roads are tailored to their unique characteristics and needs, by using a variety of physical measures to support the appropriate vehicle speeds and volumes, while increasing transportation equity.
This revised policy is also intended to make neighborhood traffic management more accessible to residents, with a flexible framework to help address a long back-log of complaints/requests that the previous policy largely precluded. Finally, the policy seeks to support a continuous improvement cycle whereby perfection is not a barrier to progress.
Collectively, these changes will result in more rapid deployment of changes to our residential streets that align with Council and the Community’s priorities.
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)