The City of Penticton hopes to have the Kiwanis Pier open to the public by the major tourist season, but it largely depends on whether rising lake levels disrupt provincial permits.
The matter went before council Tuesday afternoon, and city engineer Ian Chapman told council while there was damage to the pier from a windstorm last summer, there was far more damage related to aging, such as rotting in the structure.
With the freshets beginning to feed into the Okanagan Lake again, however, Chapman said there is still some concern the rising lake could disrupt not only the work on the pier, but other work along the water.
There hasn’t been any formal agreement, but while the city currently has the value of the damage from the storm pegged at $78,000, insurance providers have said that is too high.
The remainder of the damage will cost the city an estimated $278,000, Chapman said, and he offered a few options to council.
That included replacing the pier altogether with more durable materials, which would last up to 75 years; conducting full repairs with the $278,000 cost to the city, conducting only insurable repairs at no cost to the city and doing nothing and waiting to decide on something new.
Chapman’s recommendations to the city was a $278,000 repair to the pier, which will provide an estimated four or five extra years of life to the pier, with hopes of finishing repairs in time for tourism season. Council voted 5-2 in favour of that option.
The minimal repairs would have added a year or two of life, while the full replacement — at a cost of over $1.5 million — would have added about 75 years of life to the pier, albeit with some maintenance work along the way.
Most councillors voted in favour of the full repairs, with only councillors Andre Martin and Helena Konanz dissenting. Coun. Judy Sentes and Mayor Andrew Jakubeit both spoke to the urgency in getting the pier up in a timely fashion.
“It is one of our landmarks; I would hate to — to get it removed is not an option I have any comfort in,” Jakubeit said.
Sentes asked what kind of time frame it take be to get the repairs done and have the pier reopened in time for summer.
“Fairly confident we could be out to tender quickly, and then all we have to do is to hope that we get enough interest, and if there’s enough capacity in the industry to respond quickly to that tender call,” Chapman said.
“Normally we would allow three to four weeks for an intended period, which would take us through to middle of June, say, and we could be building soon after that.
“The only other issue starting to become a problem for all the works we’re doing at the moment is rising water. As the water rises, the more permitting that we have to get involved with. If we can get at the work very, very quickly and the water doesn’t come up too high this year, we can probably do a lot of the work without a permit.”
However, Martin had opposed the immediate work on the pier, suggesting the city could do some extra research on how much the city could benefit from replacing the pier entirely.
As well, Konanz said she was interested in seeing the pier reworked to be able to include boat docking that would allow boaters to moor close to downtown.