Penticton council adds funds to revitalization project

Council voted 4-3 to add $125,000 to the revitalization project in order to upgrade the planned $398,000 light canopy

Penticton council adds funds to revitalization project

It turns out a simple white light canopy isn’t good enough for the revitalization of Main Street’s 100 block, at least according to Penticton City Council.

During their regular meeting Monday, council voted 4-3 to add $125,000 to the revitalization project in order to upgrade the planned $398,000 light canopy to an enhanced light and controller system that features both white and a range of programmed coloured light patterns.

A light canopy is a system of lights, in this case LED, arranged in an arch over the street, providing soft lighting for evening events. This canopy is expected to grace both the final portion of Main Street, next to Gyro Park, as well as over the new connecter street planned between Main and Martin. Director of Operations Mitch Moroziuk said the life span of the lights is about 10 years, and the supporting poles and infrastructure would last longer than that.

Coun. Helena Konanz objected to purchasing any form of light canopy, saying the city already had a natural canopy.

“We actually have stars and we aren’t going to be able to see them,” said Konanz, who was concerned the canopy was too costly. “As we go through the budget process, we have staff telling us our infrastructure is crumbling. We will be fortunate if we can complete the revitalization.”

Coun. Campbell Watt, on the other hand, said the point of the project was to create a focus and a wow factor in the city.

“This is the ultimate way to enhance that wow factor. It gives something our city is in dire need of. Something that is really explosive and exciting,” said Watt.

Other supporters said the light canopy could be an important tourist draw.

“We installed lighting into all the trees down on the beach at Barefoot and the immediate response from our guests was incredible. It fills everybody with a sense of wonderment and awe,” said Coun. Max Picton. “Once you have seen it and watched someone experience it, you could only imagine what it would do on a much larger, grand scale.”

“I think it will be an attraction,” said Coun. Tarik Sayeed, referencing the Fremont Street light show in Las Vegas. “It became an attraction. I am hoping this one will be as well.”

Sayeed also argued the light display could be seen as an inclusive addition. Along with the Canada flag and finish lines Moroziuk demonstrated in a video, the lights could be used to form a rainbow banner for the LGBT community, flags honouring foreign dignitaries or other celebrations.

“There are tons of things we could do with this kind of colourful lighting,” said Sayeed.

Coun. André Martin questioned how often the canopy would be used, considering that, for driver safety, it won’t be in operation when the street is open to traffic.

“How many events a year are we going to be using this for?” asked Martin, who jokingly suggested that if Penticton really wants a wow factor, a laser light show covering the whole city should be considered.

Watt argued that it didn’t matter how many evening events the city currently had, more could —  and would, he said — be added to take advantage of the light canopy.

The $125,000 upgrade passed by a single vote, with Couns. Martin and Konanz opposed, along with Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.

Jakubeit said council is committed to downtown revitalization, but the city was already going over and above the initial pitch.

“The canopy is important. Putting multiple colours in it isn’t as important,” said Jakubeit, adding that the city could spend the $125,000 better. “I would much rather see advancements in the SS Sicamous master plan. We can quickly figure out a list of ways to spend it.”

 

Just Posted

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read