Details of new South Okanagan prison topic of special council meeting

BC Corrections officials paying a visit to politicians in Penticton, Oliver, Okanagan Falls

Officials from the B.C. Corrections branch are touring the South Okanagan, letting everyone know the new prison is still on its way.

Wednesday morning, Penticton residents have a chance to find out what the corrections branch has to say at a special council meeting at 9 a.m. in city hall.

Early this year, the province announced it had selected a bid from the Osoyoos band, proposing a site in the Senkulmen Business Park as the location for the new 378-cell, high-security facility.

City manager Annette Antoniak said she isn’t sure what the delegation wants to tell council, though she expects it to be positive.

“I don’t actually have their presentation, but they’ve been making  the rounds to all the municipalities in the South Okanagan Similkameen. They are giving us an update with where they are at with the correctional facility,” said Antoniak, adding that she expects the delegation to also talk about opportunities related to contracts becoming available for work on the prison.

The delegation is expected to give a project update as well as talk about jobs before and after construction. Details about an online business registry for local contractors and service providers is also expected to be available.

Penticton Mayor Garry Litke said the public is invited to the special council meeting to listen to the information as well, though there won’t be a full forum to allow public input.

Nor is council going to be doing more than accepting information.

“It is not going to be a debate or discussion or decision making,” said Litke.

B.C. Corrections staff are also holding community forums later today in the Okanagan Falls Senior Centre at 1:30 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. in the Oliver Community Centre.

A third session takes place at  7 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the Sonora Community Centre in Osoyoos.