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Penticton  

Marina RFP on hold

It appears the Penticton Yacht Club will not have to compete with the market anytime soon to keep its longtime home on Okanagan Lake.

Penticton city council directed staff to negotiate a five year license to use with two year option with the club Tuesday. The move puts the city’s plan to send the lease out for a request for proposals on hold for up to two more municipal elections.

In November, the yacht club approached council with a request for a 20-year license so it could acquire financing for upgrades. But in the wake of the Skaha Lake Park fiasco, council wasn’t crazy about signing a 20-year agreement with anyone.

A one-year extension was signed for 2018, and council said they would be shopping around for a marina operator.

Then Tuesday, Penticton Yacht Club secretary Marc Tougas was before council with a new, shorter proposal of a five to seven year extension. This time, councillors bit.

On this week’s Mayor’s Minute, Andrew Jakubeit said council’s change of heart is due in part to the fact that the lease the city has with the province for the waterfront is up in seven years. The city in turn, sublets the property to the club. 

“If you are going to go out to an RFP, or do any sort of larger scale planning with the community and stakeholders, then you might as well do it all at one time,” he said.

He added that the city is still working on a master plan for the Okanagan Lake waterfront and esplanade, and any long agreements in the area should factor the plan in.

Jakubeit praised the Penticton Yacht Club for their management of the facility, and said they would likely have a “leg up” on the competition when the license to use is up for grabs in five to seven years.

“They are a nonprofit group that — especially last year with the high water, were there every day trying to protect our asset,” he said.

The club puts about $200,000 per year into the marina in maintenance and upgrades, bringing in $90,000 in revenue to the city.

Instead of carrying out large upgrades with a loan backed by a 20-year term, Jakubeit said the club has “retooled” its plans to carry out the upgrades in a more gradual fashion. The club has 600 members and 450 slips.

On the other end of town, the mayor says there has been little progress in finding a new operator for the Skaha Lake Marina. The Trio Marine Group holds the license to operate there until the end of the year.

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