The RDOS is proposing a municipal facility co-location study with the City of Penticton, looking to find a new office together

RDOS and City in one spot?

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) will be petitioning the City of Penticton to jointly look into the possibility of developing a shared corporate office facility.

The corporate office for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is currently located at 101 Martin Street in Penticton. RDOS has fee simple title to this property, which contains a single-level office building on two adjoining lots, with a combined area of 0.95 acres. The building was constructed in 1981 and has 10,800 square feet of floor space. 

The space has come to feel especially tight during the pandemic, with no space large enough to host a full board meeting while meeting provincial health guidelines. The district also needs more space for its data bank. 

The current facility has also deteriorated and will require additional investment if the organization intends to stay in this location over the longer term, according to a staff report. 

The proposal asserts that the facility envelope no longer provides the necessary space to provide a welcoming environment for elected officials and the public; or for the staff housed within. The board room has been deemed too small for members, staff, public, delegations and the media; the public reception area and common areas are limited; storage has been exceeded; the requirement for meeting space has been exceeded and workspaces are too tightly packed to be efficient or to provide a welcoming environment. 

As well, the investment needed to put in work to continue the facility in a safe manner makes the consideration of options more urgent for the district. 

Over the past few years, the RDOS has been trying out alternatives by using satellite office space, working from home, rotating staff in and out of the office and other diversionary measures. It has been determined that additional space is needed. 

From recent meetings with the City of Penticton, it has also been reported that the City experiences the same concerns with their facility at 171 Main Street and is looking into a relocation study in 2021 to develop a long-range plan. 

The RDOS suggests that entering into a long-range planning process together may lead to advantages for both municipalities, including economies of scale, shared space, bulk purchasing, more efficient working relationships and other yet undetermined opportunities. 

“This is not the short-term solution to already existing issues, but it will help inform future decisions,” the report reads. 

The RDOS will be presented with the full report on Thursday. 

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