City identifies three potential jail sites

Campbell Mountain, the city works yard and private property near the Cantex gravel pit are the three potential jail sites identified by the City of Penticton.

Campbell Mountain, the city works yard and private property near the Cantex gravel pit are the three potential jail sites identified by the City of Penticton.

The sites were unveiled at a Monday night public meeting held in Summerland to reveal that communities five potential sites to the public which could potentially be the home of the proposed $200 million jail the provincial government wants to build by 2015.

“Those are the three from the City of Penticton at this time,” said Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton, adding the Penticton Indian Band also have sites that will be revealed at their meeting on Wednesday evening. “Servicing was a big issue. The Cantex one is a private landowner that has offered his site forward, the city yards is the other property and Campbell Mountain also caught the attention of the ministry.”

A meeting on Tuesday night was held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre (after press deadline, see Friday’s edition or visit where it was expected the B.C. Corrections staff would field questions from the public.

Few details were released at the Summerland meeting on Monday about Penticton’s jail sites except that the Campbell Mountain property is about 24 hectares in size, may require an environmental assessment, may require sub-division, is 1.2 kilometres away from the water and sanitary sewer system and access would be from Reservoir Road which would require upgrading. The Cantex Gravel Pit is about 26 hectares, located on private land, may require environmental assessment, no sub-division required, fully serviced with water and sanitary sewer and access would be from Okanagan Avenue East or potentially from Carmi. The city works yard is about 6.5 hectares, on private land, fully serviced with water and sewer, access would be from Okanagan Avenue East and Dartmouth Road and the works yard would be relocated.

One of the criteria outlined for the project is a close (70-minute) proximity to Kelowna and Vernon courts, but the city doesn’t seem put off by that.

“Don’t forget Penticton has a courthouse also, and it is our understanding that there are more and more things done by teleconference,” said Ashton.

The corrections staff will look at the pieces of land submitted to them by April 1 from the collective group of the region, municipalities and PIB and then come back to inform them what sites they are prepared to move ahead with. Ashton said there will also be more opportunities for additional public input in the future.

Five potential sites for a provincial correctional facility were identified in Summerland including a 16-hectare, provincially owned site used as a gravel pit. Other options include a 26-hectare parcel on Gilman Road, a 15-hectare parcel on Fenwick Road, a municipally-owned parcel on Cartwright Mountain around 10 hectares and the former Summerland Hills Golf Resort site, which is a 20-hectare property at the western edge of the municipality.

Todd Gilliard, the developer of Sedona Heights, told the crowd of approximately 300 Summerland residents at Monday’s meeting that the jail will have an effect on property values. One of the proposed locations is near his subdivision. While another resident, Peter Waterman said there is significant benefit from the jail from increasing tax base, allowing the municipality to keep property taxes low.