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Not so fast: Plan to install lights at Penticton skate park deferred for cost estimate

Council has directed staff to provide a cost estimate for the project before making a decision
Youth Week in Penticton was celebrated at Penticton’s skate park at Riverside in 2022. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Moving ahead with a plan to install lights at Penticton’s largest skate park will have to wait at least a few more weeks.

A public-safety project at Penticton Youth Park was left with more questions than answers at a city council meeting on May 2, following a notice of motion from councillors Amelia Boultbee, Ryan Graham and Isaac Gilbert.

The trio of politicians called for the installation of lights at Penticton Youth Park, using money from the city’s $7.2 million share of the province Growing Communities Fund.

“That area is known for a lot of vandalization and mischief,” said Gilbert. “It’s there where we want to allow for a free space for parents to be able to take their kids and make sure they feel space to be able to ride their bikes and do sports in the area.”

Although the concept was supported by the rest of council, the proposal itself was deferred to a meeting on May 16. City staff have been directed to provide an approximate cost for the project in the meantime.

“We have outdoor pickleball, tennis, hockey, basketball courts, and baseball just to name a few…all of which support youth and all of which can use some lighting,” said Coun. Campbell Watt.

“I’m wholeheartedly in favour of this, I just would like to make sure we have enough information in terms of the rollouts of funds. We should be setting priorities first, then spending the money.”

The 30,000-square-foot facility — located at 185 Riverside Drive — was built in 2007 and serves as B.C.’s third-largest skate park.

It welcomes scooter and BMX riders, as well as skateboarders on a regular basis.

“One fundamental, important thing was missing and that’s lighting,” Graham said. “This is an asset in this community that can be used nine months of the year and I feel it’s a small, minimum reinvestment in an asset we already own.”

Along with providing an estimated cost for the installation of lights at the facility, council also directed staff to compile a list of other priority projects that can be completed through the Growing Communities Fund — which allows for spending on things like sidewalks, curbing, lighting and parks.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we do have lights at the skate park at the end of this all, but we need to do this in the right order,” said Coun. Helena Konanz.

“This should be put on a list along with other strategic priorities.”

Council will revisit the matter at its next meeting on May 16.

READ MORE: Penticton councillors want lights installed at Riverside skate park to improve safety


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