Skaha Marina in Penticton.

Skaha Marina in Penticton.

Update: Waterslides off the table for Skaha Park in Penticton

It's going to cost the city $40,000 to get the out of the current agreement it has with the Trio Marine Group.

It’s going to cost the City of Penticton $40,000 to get the out of the current agreement it has with the Trio Marine Group to lease a portion of Skaha Lake Park.

According to the proposed settlement agreement, the city and Trio will terminate all obligations under the existing marina and water park development agreements in favour of an enhanced marina agreement. To get to that stage, the city is offering to pay Trio $20,000 in relation to the company’s claims, and $20,000 more for safety-related repairs Trio already made to the marina.

The city is also agreeing to forego $38,601 in rent and property taxes payable under the current agreement.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit admitted the issue of leasing a portion of Skaha Lake Park has been one that divided the community. Experience brings good decisions, he said, but often attaining experience comes from making bad decisions.

“I won’t go as far as to say that a waterslide was a bad decision, however, the process we chose to engage the community was,” said Jakubeit. “If we followed a better process, it might have dictated a different outcome.”

The second proposal, the Enhanced Marina Agreement, offers Trio three benefits, starting with a 29-year seasonal license to operate the Skaha Lake East concession, to begin in January 2018. According to CAO Mitch Moroziuk, the current lease, held by Jenine Nicholas, expires in 2017. Also starting in January, the city and Trio will jointly develop a proposal for an in-lake aquatic play structure to be located on the foreshore of Skaha Lake park. Moroziuk said the city will conduct public consultation regarding the play structure and if that process doesn’t support it, the city will be under no obligation to Trio.

“These agreements will protect green space in Skaha park as demanded by the Save Skaha Park Society and some other community members and require full public consultations before any future for profit amenities in Skaha Lake or on the foreshore of Skaha Lake are considered,” reads the report in one part, though another part outlines possible commercial development of the same area where the waterslide was planned, giving Trio an option of future developments in that area.

Starting April 1, 2019, the city will conduct a public consultation in for the revitalization of  Skaha Lake Park, focusing on that treed area of the park, minus the existing splashpad. According to the staff report, the goal is to develop a park concept “that in the city’s discretion best balances the interests of revitalization of Skaha Park and the expressed desires and concerns of the citizens.” When that is complete, Trio will be offered and exclusive request for proposal to construct and operate any revenue generating amenities or facilities.

”We will find out in the near future, as this goes along that the public has no appetite for this scale of development in Skaha or any other park. If we have a concern, it is about where this leads,” said Gary Denton, a member of the SSPS and the Parks and Rec. master plan steering committee.

Read more: Hundreds of Penticton residents rally to Save Skaha Park

Jakubeit referred to work being done on the master plan for how public engagement gets validated.

“Everyone in the community, most certainly council, learned a lesson from the last year and a half,” said Jakubeit. “That is the intention coming out of the Parks and Rec master plan is to solve those decades old concerns or questions in the community about what is allowed in a park and what mechanisms we have to gauge public interest.”

Lisa Martin, spokesperson for the SSPS, was cautious about the report.

“We are pleased that the waterslide is off the table but obviously come concerns with the concession stand,” she said. “There is still a lot of information to go through. Right now, we are going to be keeping our focus more on the parks masterplan because that is hopefully where some future laws will come up so we are never in this situation again. We want a clear definition about what can and can’t be commercially developed in a park.”

“The city and Trio are aware and sensitive to the amount of public opposition to the proposed development,” said Moroziuk, noting that there are two civil claims opposing the development, one by the Save Skaha Park Society and another by Nelson Meikle.

Meikle insisted the city’s plan to consult with the public at a special meeting next week didn’t allow enough time for the public to digest the 12-page report.

“Give us until at least until Dec. 6 before you have the convention centre hearings,” said Meikle. “Be reasonable, that is all we are asking.”

Read more: Skaha Park battle continues

Jakubeit repeated a comment he made earlier, that if public apprehension continues, council will delay its decision.

“If the public still needs time, we will adjust our schedule,” said Jakubeit.

Moroziuk said the agreements represent the best deal that staff and legal counsel were able to get with Trio.

”We were still working on these agreements on Sunday night,” said Moroziuk, explaining that the city has been in intensive negotiations with Trio since the beginning of October.

The City of Penticton will host an information session the week of Nov. 6 to answer questions and hear comments from the public. Council will then return on Nov. 15 to vote on the matter.


Read more: Penticton releasing waterslide update

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Skaha Lake Middle School. (File photo)
Penticton middle school has COVID exposure

Skaha Middle School is the latest in growing lists of exposure in the Okanagan

Air Canada cancelled service to and from Penticton Jan. 11, 2021. After receving $5.9 billion in federal aid the airline is now set to renew service on the route in June, 2021. (Mark Brett - Western News file)
Air Canada set to return to Penticton

Federal aid could have the Vancouver/Penticton route back to pre-pandemic service

Oliver man with warrants facing new charges for driving a stolen vehicle

The 39-year-old was found in a truck stolen out of Kelowna and arrested at the scene

A bin of Pinot Gris grapes harvested in the north Willamette Valley rests before being crushed at Ponzi Vineyards. The pomace and lees from these grapes would normally go to waste, but Okanagan-based company Winecrush is changing that. (Photo courtesy of Ponzi Vineyards)
This Penticton company is crushing wine-making’s sustainability goals

Program utilizes derivatives from the winemaking process, rather than letting them go to waste

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A five-storey, 60-unit building has been proposed for 8709 Jubilee Rd. E., Summerland. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on March 22. (Image by GTA Architecture)
Zoning, OCP amendments adopted for Summerland housing development

Additional variances will be needed for controversial five-storey, 60-unit housing development

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

Sheila Derbyshire surprised her daughter, Talyn, at Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong April 12, 2021, for her 13th birthday with 13 clowns carrying 13 red balloons. (Sheila Derbyshire - Contributed)
Armstrong mom sends in the clowns

‘Halloween freak’ celebrates daughter’s 13th birthday in style

Lime e-scooters will soon be offered in Kelowna. (Photo: Kris Krug)
E-scooters now allowed on Kelowna roadways under provincial pilot program

‘Rather than a novelty, this change will enable e-scooters to be used for more utilitarian transportation purposes’

(Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Man found tangled in barbed wire on trail near UBC Okanagan

Man’s friend claims he’d been drinking when he went missing Monday afternoon

Most Read