Penticton has been without an indoor tennis facility since 2007, however the city doesn’t appear to be getting another one any time soon.
The old tennis bubble was removed more than a decade ago to make way for the construction of the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC).
Construction of a new indoor court in Penticton has been postponed yet again, but the project could become a reality if private groups come to the city with funding or grants for the project.
After reviewing the project in December, city staff recommended council postpone further action on the indoor tennis facility until the city completes an ongoing asset and amenity management review.
Ultimately, council voted in favour of delaying the facility until the asset management review is complete but with an amendment that could see the case re-evaluated if an outside party presents the city with money and/or land for the facility.
The decision to postpone the facility was contentious among councillors. Coun. Katie Robinson expressed strong opposition to delaying the tennis facility even further.
“It’s been through several councils now, and I believe it’s a real need in our community that is not being addressed and has been promised for years,” said Robinson.
Other councillors were concerned about the potential challenges relating to the cost and lack of adequate land for the facility.
“We’re in a situation where financially, it’s very difficult to afford. We have very little information to support need for a structure like this,” said Mayor John Vassilaki.
Council members also discussed the difference between a tennis bubble and a bricks and mortar indoor facility like what is being proposed.
Concerns around the city’s obligation to provide land, capital funding, cover utility cost and create a non-profit organization to run the facility ultimately resulted in council voting 4-2 in favour of further postponing the facility, unless a third-party comes forward with land and/or funding.
Reporter, Penticton Western News
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