Council priorities revealed

When Penticton city council was sworn into office four months ago, they were given a chance to direct city staff to embark on new priorities and projects based on the 2018 election.

Of these pet projects to be made public so far — we’ve seen Mayor John Vassilaki’s failed attempt to have the one dollar utility paper billing fee scrapped and Coun. Katie Robinson try to raise speed limits downtown.

Coun. Julius Bloomfield passed a motion to have staff study renewable energy generation while Coun. Jake Kimberley wanted to see a covenant protect land downtown for a performing arts centre.

On Tuesday, council will get an update on where the remaining more than 30 council priorities are now at. While many of the projects — like the completion of the Official Community Plan and downtown safety — are carrying on the previous council’s work, Tuesday’s update reveals many of the looming issues the city will tackle this year.

Near the end of 2019, the city will attempt to have select older motels that primarily rent to monthly tenants rezoned residential.

“Removing these ‘accommodation’ units from the hotel supply will provide opportunities for new, higher quality hotel stock to be created,” the report says.

The report also reveals the city is working on accepting credit card payment for utility customers, and is partnering with the RDOS to reduce odours and litter emitting from the Campbell Mountain Landfill.

Council has also directed staff to “bring a signature triathlon event back to Penticton for 2020,” something that will be updated in Q2 of this year.

The city is exploring holding an annual senior’s forum and has committed to holding a pair of council meetings later this year at Penticton Secondary and Okanagan College.

Council requested upgrades to Penticton’s downtown were included in the 2019 budget, as was a feasibility study to determine if downtown can support a parkade. Requested support for the SS Sicamous was also on the books this year.

The new council has also asked the Division of Family Practice South Okanagan Similkameen present to them on the regional doctor shortage, something that will be happening in the coming months.

Improved relations with the Penticton Indian Band was another priority along with a potential bus link to the reserve. A first council-to-council meeting was held earlier this month. 

“Staff are making good progress on many of the priorities/key issues,” the update says.

Of the 36 priorities/key issues, nine have been completed, 25 are in progress, one is on hold and one has been deferred to later years.


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