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Penticton  

Economic ups and downs

The City of Penticton’s restructured economic development department is starting to hit its stride, even with some recent bad news in the closure of the Pattison Sign Group plant announced last month.

Economic development specialist Jennifer Vincent provided council with an update on the city’s newly restructured department Tuesday.

She said the closure of the Pattison sign manufacturing plant and loss of 58 jobs was “unexpected” and will have a “far reaching effect” on the city.

She said that about 15 per cent of workers at the plant have already found new employment, in part due to support from the Penticton Industrial Development Association.

“But there still are 45 days before the plant closure to continue to support their transition,” she said. “The decision for the plant closure came from further up the chain, there seems to be little as a city, that we could have done to prevent this.”

In better economic news, Vincent said 40 new local jobs are being created through the expansion of Cut Technologies, due to the merger of parent company Burton Saw and Supply with Simonds International. They are expanding into a second warehouse across the road at Dawson Ave.

Council also heard the City of Penticton has forged a new partnership group with 15 local stakeholders including the PIB, the Penticton airport, Okanagan College and others, which will be meeting regularly to steer the city’s development efforts.

Council also heard a quick update from the planning and development department, which showed all types of building permits in the first two months of 2018 are up from the same time frame last year.

Twenty-four single-family homes and 79 multi-family units have already passed through the city’s planning department, up from a combined 24 during the same time last year.

Early commercial and industrial permits are also up more than double last year.

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