It’s almost time to find out how some residents in Penticton feel about the city’s controversial Civic Places and Spaces project.
The agenda for Tuesday’s committee of the whole was released by the city on Friday and focuses on feedback the city has received. The meeting next week will formally reveal the results from the community feedback questionnaire the city submitted to citizens and provide more insight on the project’s next steps.
The long-term plan suggests that the city should replace, repair, sell or renew its most iconic civic buildings.
Early results indicate that the majority of residents who submitted feedback would like to see the city follow through on a number of proposals related to the project’s recommendations.
Residents had until Nov. 25 to submit their feedback on the project by visiting shapeyourcitypenticton.ca but now, it’s up to the city to take the next steps. The pre-engagement plan began in September, with the month of November dedicated to gathering public input.
Penticton’s Civic Places and Spaces project has four recommendations. Among the points that will be reviewed on the committee’s agenda include demolishing both the Memorial and McLaren arenas to construct a new twin-rinks facility, as well as creating a new cultural centre that houses the Penticton Art Gallery, museum and library all in one building.
Local groups like the Penticton Minor Hockey Association chimed in on the new twin-rinks facility recommendation in the city’s Dec. 7 committee meeting agenda.
“I think as a community-focused organization, we have many concerns regarding this proposal and what it will mean for our organization and the programs that we offer,” wrote the communications officer of the Penticton Minor Hockey Association Darla Roy in a letter to the city. “Firstly, Memorial Arena is our home base, our home rink. We have banners hanging from every available space, we have history on the walls, our trophies in the cases.
“This represents the storied and valued history of our organization, not just the arena itself.”
Others in the city, like the ones who speak on behalf of the Penticton Public Library, were much more supportive of the long-term project.
“Our current facility, built in 1968 and expanded in the 1980s, has become sadly inadequate for the needs of a modern busy library,” the co-chair of the library David Folstad said in a letter of his own to the city. “We are very excited at the prospect of a new facility that will carry the library into the future.”
After conducting a deep dive into the project and confirmation of direction, the city says that the fate of the plan will lie on the shoulders of city council.
The agenda for next week’s committee meeting as well as the preliminary engagement results can be found at penticton.ca.