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City Councillor, Brian Given. (File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet)
City Councillor, Brian Given. (File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet)

Pontoon report thrills Councillor

by - Story: 37009

He was the most vocal opponent of the plan to turn two pontoons from the Okanagan Lake Floating Bridge into a downtown Kelowna pier.

City Councillor, Brian Given says he is ecstatic, and not surprised that a staff report recommends Council back away from the project.

"It was my conviction the whole time that this was not going to be simply a $900,000 hit and there would be on-going costs and additional costs to get this up to snuff, so, I'm not surprised at all," says Given.

It's not the issue of a downtown pier that Given is against, it's more about the timing and using the pontoons.

"To be quite honest, I think we can do much better. The pier is certainly something we want in this city, but it is a want. I would put the restoration of Jim Stuart Park ahead as something we really need to do ahead of anything to do with pontoons."

Given says he would be in favour of using pontoons for something along the lines of a breakwater, but not a pier.

"Let's not forget, the bridge was designed to be a bridge."

During budget deliberations in December, council approved the expenditure of $900,000 to receive the two pontoons from the soon-to-be decommissioned bridge.

The funds were taken from the Parks Department budget.

A recent study showed the price tag to prepare the pontoons would in fact be $1.9 million. The additional $1 million would have to come from the 2008 budget.

Given says it's his understanding the $900,000 earmarked for the pontoons will be returned to the Parks Department.

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