Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: City and RDOS should be in the same building

There is a great opportunity for the City of Penticton and Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

City and RDOS should be in the same building

There is a great opportunity for the current city council and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen to look down the road and deal with several important issues at once.

The current city hall and RDOS offices are both properties grossly under utilized for their potential and sit on land that is too valuable for the current use.

At the same time the city is involved in the conference business which I believe loses money annually and competes directly with a private enterprise in the city (Penticton Lakeside Resort).

The city hall and the RDOS offices should relocate to a renovated convention centre and the current real estate downtown should be sold. Having the RDOS and City of Penticton in the same complex would likely lead to efficiencies for both organizations.

Some of the proceeds from the sale of the downtown real estate should go to constructing a multi-level parkade connected to the South Okanagan Events Centre. This would go a long way to easing congestion and would generate cashflow for the city. The end result would be updated facilities for the city hall and RDOS, a parkade to ease parking in the SOEC campus and the city would stop competing directly with a private business in town.

As well the current sites of the RDOS and city hall could be put to greater use as multi-family condominiums. If 16-storey buildings like the structures next door were built, 400 to 500 people would be drawn downtown. This would further rejuvenate the downtown area and attract businesses, possibly a grocery store (think Urban Faire) and other services.

Obviously there are a lot of moving parts to plan like this but at the same time it would be a very exciting direction for the city.

Brian Hughes