Council deciding on Eckhardt properties

Council is finally getting around to deciding how to deal with nine city-owned properties along Eckhardt Avenue

Council is finally getting around to deciding how to deal with nine city-owned properties along Eckhardt Avenue that are currently bearing about $1.6 million in liens from contractors working on the failed hockey dorm project.

“I am hoping by the end of the day council will instruct staff to move forward with a resolution on that issue,” said former acting mayor Garry Litke on Monday morning. In addition to the liens, the contractors launched legal action earlier this year.

Litke, who resigned Monday, said council would be trying to decide whether to settle out of court or let the issue proceed.

“My agenda would be to resolve that, give staff some instructions today and get that resolved over the summer so that by the fall we could start entertaining some of the proposals I have been hearing about,” said Litke.

While he was still mayor,  Penticton MLA Dan Ashton maintained the city is not liable for the contractors’ claims.

“I am very comfortable with the city’s legal position on the properties and, as I have said all the way along, they are going after the wrong person,” said Ashton. A freedom of information request made earlier this year revealed that legal bills related to the properties had reached more than $50,088 by Jan. 31 and that the city had spent $37,016 on removing the contractors’ work and restoring the property.

The lands have been in limbo since early 2012, when the project came to a crashing end, as financial backers pulled out and news broke about allegations of fraudulent business practices on the part of developer Loren Reagan.

In February 2013, the contractors moved their case ahead, filing notices of civil claim that named the City of Penticton, along with Reagan and his partners, Mike and Tana Elphicke, the principals of Okanagan Elite Hockey Group, as defendants. Five separate claims were filed by Grizzly Excavating, Avkon Construction, Geopac Inc., R&R Reinforcing and Task Construction Management.

“Given the information we had at the time and the motivation to move forward with something on that land and the recommendations we had from various sources, that’s the decision we made. Obviously not the right decision, we’re paying for that now,” said Litke. “From my perspective, I just want to see it get resolved. We have quite a bit of interest in that property, but obviously as long as there are matters before the courts, people don’t want to get involved in that.”

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read