Penticton and South Okanagan
Channel funding a trail of dissent
Aug 17, 2013 / 5:00 am
A Regional District Okanagan Similkameen board decision Thursday to help fund channel trail maintenance, met with opposition from several directors in the district's south end and Similkameen.
Allan Patton, the RDOS director for rural Oliver, was particularly outspoken, saying money from the district's trails budget should not be used for maintenance.
"The money coming to maintain the trail belonging to the Penticton Indian Band is coming from our trails budget, which means we are all paying into that," he said. "If we are going to use that budget for purely maintenance. we will not have any money left over for our capital upgrades and general improvements.
Further if we are going to be equitable about this, then everyone's trails should be maintained."
Since 2009, the PIB has solely funded the maintenance of the trail between the north end of the channel and the parking at the south end. A $2 per person environmental fee was introduced this year to assist the PIB with the costs, but reaction from the public was negative and the fee was rescinded
With the three party agreement with the RDOS, the city of Penticton and the PIB, the RDOS will contribute $5,833 for the remainder of 2013 and $14,000 annually each of the following five years to assist with maintenance and enhancement of the trail.
Those who supported the decision, say the channel trail is used by people throughout the regional district.
"The Penticton channel trail is a critical portion of the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) trail system," said regional board chair Mark Pendergraft. "It is a popular recreation opportunity for local residents and visitors to the community."
Patton said even though the matter has moved ahead for now, he will continue to oppose it.
"As far as I am concerned in Area C, I don't see the connection for me," he said. "I am still going to fight this down the road when it comes to the budget process. I am not happy for sure."
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Penticton Discussion Forum
Penticton & Wine Country Chamber
Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
District of Summerland
Summerland Chamber & Tourism
Town of Oliver
Town of Osoyoos
Town of Keremeos
School District 67 - Okanagan Skaha
School District 53 - Okanagan Similkameen
Okanagan Regional Library
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