Penticton residents may get to vote on operations at the Skaha Marina in the city’s upcoming by-election.
The special Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee meeting will be held Monday (March 22) at 3 p.m. to discuss the merits of allowing a private company to operate the Skaha Marina, which city staff say could help fund a recently approved $3-million revamp of Skaha Lake Park.
Staff recommend the committee asks city council to seek a community mandate on the matter, which could mean the question’s inclusion on the June 5 by-election ballot.
The by-election was called when Coun. Jake Kimberely stepped down from his seat. He suffered a stroke last year.
If there is community support through the by-election, the proposed operating agreement of up to 25 years will be brought back to the committee for review and a recommendation before being presented to council for a decision.
Council endorsed plans to renovate Skaha Lake Park last week.
Key elements of the approved plan include:
- Completing the replacement of the marina docks
- Renewal of the marina building
- An extension of a promenade to the marina building
- A new and expanded paddle boathouse near the existing footprint
- A new splash pad (water park)
- Allowing for a licensed restaurant as part of the marina
- Reconfiguring the parking lot and adding usable waterfront green space
- Naturalization of the riparian areas and other enhancements to trails and green space
At a March 11 parks and rec meeting, staff recommended a long-term arrangement of up to 25 years for marina services to be put to a referendum.
The committee members unanimously endorsed the Skaha Lake Park East Plan but did not support the recommendation relating to the marina question to be posed as part of the by-election. Members expressed concerns with the proposed question and indicated that more information and time were needed to consider the recommendation properly.
Since this meeting, staff have taken steps to meet with committee members to further understand their concerns and consider their feedback to advance the recommendation in the adopted plan to explore a long-term agreement as a mechanism to fund the marina services.
Another parks and rec meeting will take place on Monday, March 29.
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