Waterfront project to be closely watched

The Penticton City Council has approved an oversight committee to ensure the Okanagan Lake waterfront project stays on budget and is done in time.

The project is a council priority, so it wants to make sure nothing goes wrong, said Councillor Garry Litke.

“We have had bad experiences with previous construction projects with prices skyrocketing out of control. With this one we were told it would cost $1.8 or $1.9 million, which jumped to $2.1 million before we even started,” he said. “So we want to take control of the costs and timelines.”

An oversight committee that was formed during the pool expansion at the community centre proved to be successful, and this effort will be similar to that.

During construction, the West Okanagan Lake Waterfront Oversight Sub-Committee will meet on an ongoing basis with contractors, architects and builders to get updates.

The timeline is also of importance because construction needs to be shut down by June 15 to prepare for such events as the Peach City Beach Cruise, the third week in June.

From then on there will be tourists using the beach and walkway.

The construction work will then pick up again in the fall.

“It’s really a hands on approach to the quality, timeline and cost of the project,” said Mayor Dan Ashton.

After months of public input, that included protests by some community members, council approved the waterfront rehabilitation project on the lake in January.

It includes new signage, benches and tables, tree removal and replanting and improvements to the walkway.

Construction is expected to begin in the early spring and end in June for the summer tourist season. The waterfront work will then be completed in the fall.

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