New pathway at Penticton beach hits a snag

Council halts plan to finish new walkway all the way to SS Sicamous as it mulls options for day moorage in the area

Work has started once more on the Okanagan Lake Waterfront revitalization, but the project may not quite be completed this fall as planned.

The delay comes from Penticton city council, who decided not to finish the walkway by the SS Sicamous until they have a chance to discuss future plans for that area, which include possibilities of day moorage, enhancing the park area and building structures and activities for children.

But it won’t be until the 2014 budget process that council considers allocating money for planning such a development, let alone building it.

Earlier this month, council considered whether to use asphalt instead of concrete for the new walkway as a cheaper and easier material to replace should future Sicamous plans require a different design.

Coun. Andrew Jakubeit suggested a another option; to wait until after the 2014 budget deliberations to do any work on the walkway where it curves past the SS Sicamous.

That was eventually accepted, with only Coun. Helena Konanz voting in opposition, but not until debating the wisdom of changing plans midstream. Coun. Judy Sentes spoke against the changes, arguing that any future plans for the Sicamous area should incorporate the finished walkway.

“I am worried how that is going to look. I think their plan should be considerate of what we have already done, rather than us putting in something temporary while they plan,” said Sentes. “I don’t see this happening in a year or two.

“I support it, I think it would be terrific, but I don’t think we should accommodate our beautiful plan in consideration of something yet to be determined, still in the planning and I fear a long way off. “

Konanz was also opposed to the asphalt option; she felt the area in front of the SS Sicamous needed the planned improvements.

“That does look pretty rough there,” said Konanz. “I really don’t think we are going to have money to put anything more on that waterfront for this next budget session.”

Mitch Moroziuk, director of operations, said that depending on how long the budget deliberations run, it might be possible to finish the walkway late this year or early in spring 2014.