The Penticton Indian Band has released three sites they are considering putting forward to the province for a potential jail.
A location near Faulder, one inside the City of Penticton boundaries near the power station up Carmi and another adjacent to the experimental farms in Trout Creek are a few of the properties the PIB are investigating.
“We are looking at sites that we may think are feasible. Some might be too far away from anything so they wont even be worth it,” said Chief Jonathan Kruger.
A meeting was to be held on Wednesday with the PIB members, but Kruger said it was cancelled out of respect for a wake being held in Osoyoos. The meeting has been rescheduled for March 23.
“We are going out in the field today (Thursday) to see if the potential sites are accessible and meet the other requirements. These three sites are tucked away, one may be visible in Faulder because it is right along the road. It is basically a couple hundred metres away from the Summerland proposed site by the dump. One site is right adjacent to the experimental farms in Trout Creek, but we have to go up there and see if it is flat enough and how accessible it is. The site near the power station could be very easily serviced and we plan on going to a couple of sites to take some pictures,” said Kruger.
Chief and council will be presenting these options and potentially more next Wednesday to the members, looking for a mandate to see what kind of deal they can get from the province that can be brought back to the members to decide on.
“You still have to negotiate what the grant in lieu of taxes is going to be and what the land lease will be. You can’t really make an informed decision until there are more numbers. We are looking for a decision from our members to say get in there and find out what the real numbers are, and if it is good enough for the community we will go for it, if not then it can go somewhere else,” said Kruger.
Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie said they have an interest in anything that creates jobs and brings money to the area.
“Yes we are interested in it, but there is no use getting excited or calling anyone yet. So many people kick the tires around development and want to do this or that, why make those things public if 90 per cent of them never amount to anything. Until it seems like it amounts to something, why even bring it up?” said Louie. “Until the short-list happens there is no need to get excited about anything or to be against anything.”