July 20, 2015 - 6:48 PM
PENTICTON - Hundreds of people showed up at City Hall to let council know their feelings about waterfront revitalization at the city’s south end.
Enduring 35 Celsius heat, a huge crowd formed in front of Penticton City Hall well before the designated time of 5 p.m. today, July 20. Police cordoned off the 100-block of Main Street as the hundreds in attendance chanted and hoisted placards announcing their position on the issue of the city entering a partnership agreement with Trio Marine Group to revitalize Skaha Lake Marina and surrounding lands with an expanded marina, restaurant and waterslide park.
'No corporate waterpark on public land,' 'Let kids play, keep hands off the waterpark,' 'Save Skaha Park,' and 'Need wider counsel, council,' were but a few of dozens of slogans waved on large signs.
Noise from the crowd made those speaking difficult to hear, but calls of 'Waterparks' and 'We want a referendum' could be heard intermittently.
“If (Trio ) want to have a business, they should use private land. I should have objected in the first place. I want to keep that land public,” protester Gelly Neilson says, adding he sees hundreds of kids in Skaha Lake Park everyday, so the idea the park is underutilized is false.
Many of those in the street moved upstairs to council chambers in anticipation of discussing the matter further, expressing their displeasure when the mayor said the issue would not be discussed. Many in the gallery demanded to be heard, disrupting the council meeting to the point the mayor recessed the meeting. The meeting reconvened after several protesters left and the police were able to placate the people remaining in the gallery.
An unruly crowd formed in council chambers to protest a recent decison made by council to allow waterslides in Skaha Lake Park.
(STEVE ARSTAD /InfoTel Multimedia)
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