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Council keeping tabs on Penticton waterfront

Oversight committee formed to oversee the $2.125 million West Okanagan Lake Waterfront Project

Penticton city council is determined to bring the waterfront revitalization project in on time and on budget.

Council voted Monday to form an oversight committee to keep tabs on the West Okanagan Lake Waterfront Project, which has a budget of $2.125 million to make infrastructure repairs and enhancements to the area between the Peach and the SS Sicamous. It also comes with a very tight timeline; the first phase must be completed by June 15, before the South Okanagan tourist season gets going full blast.

“The main focus of this oversight committee is that it is done on time and on budget and that it fulfils the vision that has been established by the community for the project,” said Mitch Moroziuk, director of operations.

He recommended that the oversight committee be kept small, consisting of himself, city manager Annette Antoniak, Mayor Dan Ashton and one other council member.

The committee will be able to approve changes in budget for individual items of up to five per cent, said Moroziuk, as long as those changes can be funded through existing capital sources.

However, Ashton is firm that the project will not go over budget.

“There may be adjustments to the budgets within it. There is a cap and that is where it will stay,” said Ashton. “It will not exceed the projected amount of the budget.”

The $2.125 million budget includes repairs to decaying infrastructure, replacement of 26 trees and enhancements to the boardwalk. It also, said Moroziuk, includes all the contract costs, city staff time, engineering and consulting to accomplish the work.

Couns. Garry Litke and Helen Konanz both put themselves forward to be on the committee. Ashton amended the staff recommendation to include both.

“We have two interested individuals, one that I worked with on the pool that I am very comfortable with,” said Ashton. “I think that’s small enough that we are still going to have the opportunity to work.”

While a public committee and public consultation created the rehabilitation plan, Ashton said there won’t be a community member on the committee.

“We have had a committee bring it forward, but the buck stops here,” he said, noting that the city used a similar tactic to keep the recently completed community centre upgrades on budget.

“It was very successful, what we accomplished with the community centre, and we are going to make sure that success carries on to the lakefront.”