Corry Place needs more than patches

Patch on patch is how Garry Gratton describes the condition of Corry Place’s road surface.

Patch on patch is how Garry Gratton describes the condition of Corry Place’s road surface.

Residents of the small, south Penticton neighbourhood say they are tired of being treated like second-class citizens and are demanding some improvements to their street.

The street, off Pineview Road, was an orchard a century ago, and there is even still a house on the street dating back to that era, which Gratton said was apparently a picker’s cabin at one time.

“It’s still occupied and still being lived in to this day,” said Gratton.

But the little residential loop hasn’t seen much change since it was developed in the late 1950s.

“The shocking and quite surprising thing about Corry Place is that right from the 1960s onwards to now it’s never been properly serviced. It has never had proper storm drainage, it has never had curbs, gutters, sidewalks or a proper, real asphalt surface.”

Gratton, and the neighbourhood group that has formed to lobby Penticton city hall, were told the condition of their street would be looked at during the 2014 budget deliberations later this year.

“We have five to 10 year plans, and sometimes it falls within those plans and sometimes it gets pushed off, just like the hospital for the last 15 years,” said Coun. John Vassilaki.

“It’s economics. Things are really, really tough. I can assure you it will be on our 2014 budget deliberations this fall.”

Coun. Andrew Jakubeit echoed Vassilaki’s commitment, but Coun. Wes Hopkin cautioned the delegation there were no promises being made.

“This does have to go through a process. For us to say that we will deliberate and look at this, means that we will look at it and weigh it against the other priorities of the city,” said Hopkin.

“But don’t go away thinking that this is necessarily going to be done, lickety split, next year or at the end of the year.

“I don’t want to set you up with a false hope.”

The Corry Place upgrade is planned, according to a capital expenditure form supplied by the city, but not until 2018, when Corry Place is scheduled for a $712,000 makeover, including sidewalks, storm sewers, water, landscaping and street lighting.

Gratton told council they were looking for something more than verbal assurances.

For the last 15 years, he said, that is the message they have been getting: just give us three or four years.

Still, he felt the response from council was a good start, and the residents presented a solid front.

However, the idea of possibly waiting until 2018 didn’t sit well.

He said they would continue the fight, attending as many council meetings as necessary and sending emails until they get a timeline they feel is reasonable.

“We feel like second-class citizens when back alleys are getting paving and storm sewers,” said Gratton.