The future of the Penticton airport is up in the air.

Penticton airport looms large at RDOS table

Following a year that saw medical marijuana and a proposed office renovation make headlines, one local leader is turning his gaze skyward

Following a year that saw medical marijuana and a proposed office renovation make headlines, the leader of one local government is now turning his gaze skyward.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board took on a range of sticky issues in 2014, including an ill-fated proposal to restrict siting of medical marijuana facilities to certain parts of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Work continued on efforts to improve and connect parts of the KVR Trail throughout the region, and a cleanup campaign to reduce the number of roadside signs began, although the project hit a snag when the B.C. government backed out of the partnership.

Directors also gave preliminary approval to a plan to renovate the organization’s headquarters at 101 Martin St. in downtown Penticton, a $436,000 project that has now been referred to budget deliberations.

While trying to balance the books, RDOS board chairman Mark Pendergraft is also working to solidify his group, which saw seven of its 18 positions turned over during the municipal election in November.

“I don’t know how much (the election) has changed the board yet,” he said in a year-end interview. “I guess it’s a little early to tell, but I don’t see a huge change in the dynamics.”

His forecast for 2015 calls for Penticton’s airport to take centre stage, after the federal government announced it is looking to offload the facility to local groups, including perhaps the RDOS, City of Penticton and Penticton Indian Band.

“At this point, we’re not saying that we want to operate it or anything like that. What we do want is to be involved in the discussion, and at some point we may have to make a decision whether we want to get into operations or not,” said Pendergraft.

“We want to be involved in the discussion and potentially a partnership of some sort to make it work.”

Pendergraft, who represents rural Osoyoos, said maintaining local oversight of the airport is important to the region as a whole.

“Even when you look at it from the tourism perspective, if we get (tourists) to the region, they’re helping out everybody,” said Pendergraft. “So regional thinking I don’t see as a bad thing.”

Just Posted

2.5 years in Penticton courthouse over neighbour assault ends

Man pleaded guilty, withdrew, stood trial, pleaded guilty to assault described by Crown as ‘vicious’

Country star takes a dip for charity

Brett Kissel went for a dip in Okanagan Lake while in Penticton to raise money for Her International

Pursuit of Excellence defeats OHA in female prep hockey final

Okanagan Hockey Academy lost to Pursuit of Excellence 6-3 at the CSSHL final in Penticton

Oliver holds onto Wine Capital of Canada designation

It might be hard to swallow for other communities but Oliver remains Wine Capital of Canada

Carmi students start their day with Olympic inspiration

Brent Hayden, 2012 swimming bronze medalist, waded through Penticton and Summerland schools

What’s happening

Find out what events are taking place this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read