UPDATE: Penticton releasing waterslide update tomorrow

Penticton city council is keeping the wraps on new information from Trio Marine Group a bit longer.

The agreement to lease a portion of Skaha Lake Park to Trio Marine Group has been a city-wide controversy since last summer

The agreement to lease a portion of Skaha Lake Park to Trio Marine Group has been a city-wide controversy since last summer

Penticton city council is keeping the wraps on new information from Trio Marine Group a bit longer.

Penticton residents have been waiting to hear new information on the Skaha Park Lease agreement since the beginning of October, when Trio Marine Group filed an update to their plans for development.

Read more: Skaha Marina developer files to meet next milestone

According to a Monday release, the city is introducing an alternative proposal from Trio Marine Group for development at Skaha Lake Park and Marina at their Nov. 1 council meeting as a late addition to the agenda.

“It has been an important and contentious issue in the community for the last year and a bit,” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, adding that there are elements in the report that make sense to have someone speak to and give better context while introducing the report, rather than releasing it directly to the public.

Staff will be presenting the proposal to council for informational purposes and council will not be voting on the proposal in tomorrow’s meeting. A public meeting is now being planned for the week of Nov. 7 to answer questions and address concerns before council will begin debate on what direction to pursue.

Jakubeit said council decided to go to the public first rather than simply vote on the arrangement with Trio Marine.

“Go out to the public, give them a chance put their two cents in and have that discussion on whether you move forward with it or not. Why not do that in public?” said Jakubeit.  “We have a finished document and now we have to decide if we want to move forward on it or not, how that affects the community and what the community’s thoughts on it are.”

According to the release, the staff report and supporting documents regarding the Skaha Marina Development will be available on the City of Penticton’s website by 1 p.m. on Nov. 1, syncing with the start of the regular meeting, rather than being immediately added to the online agenda.

City hall has been in possession of the Trio information since the beginning of October, when Trio met a milestone in their contract with the city, filing updated plans for their planned development. Last July, the city signed agreements with Trio to take over the existing Skaha Marina and to lease an adjacent portion of Skaha Lake Park, where they planned to build a waterslide complex.

Earlier this month, Jakubeit said city staff needed time to go over the material and prepare a report for council.

“The luxury of time no longer exists. It has to get dealt with one way or the other,” said Jakubeit at the time. “I think all of council is resolved that we would like to put some clarity or closure on this issue this month. It has been lingering.”

The issue has divided the city for more than a year with two separate civil suits filed in B.C. Supreme court, one by the Save Skaha Park Society in Sept. 2015, and another by Nelson Meikle in July 2016, opposing commercial development of green space in the park.

Read more: Civil lawsuits in Penticton over Skaha Park sliding forward