The new bridge across the Okanagan River Channel at Green Avenue is nearing completion, but having it finished is only part of the battle.
“Our goal is to have it finished by the end of October,” said Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger. “Everyone is asking ‘what’s next?’”
What’s next, according to Kruger, is getting infrastructure like water and power into the area so development can begin.
“I’ve heard people talking about this being a bridge to nowhere,” said Kruger. “Little do they know there is a lot of work involved in building infrastructure. “Whether it is in the city or on the reserves, anywhere, you can’t build anything without infrastructure.”
The next goal, said Kruger, is to build that infrastructure and once that is all ready to go, a road through the locatee (band families who own the land privately) lands, so everyone can benefit.
“The locatees benefit for leasing, the band gets great economic development and we get more jobs and taxation base for the Penticton Indian Band,” said Kruger. “But there is a lot of heavy work that needs to be done for now. We are just going to continue to put our head down and work really hard.”