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District, city, band edge closer to river channel cost-sharing

Penticton Indian Band wants assistance for river channel costs from stakeholders who also benefit from river, such as the City of Penticton and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
Image Credit: SOURCE/flickr
August 01, 2013 - 7:44 PM

PENTICTON - Okanagan River channel caretakers want help paying its $40,000 bill but a regional district director wants more for the money.

The Penticton Indian Band spends $40,000 for channel maintenance and for the upkeep of its portion of the KVR Trail system. The First Nation would like some financial assistance from the other stakeholders who benefit such as the City of Penticton and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

The band tried a $2 fee for channel floaters using its resources but negative public reaction killed the idea, district CAO Bill Newell said. The money was to pay the cost of cleaning up floating devices and litter left behind by the nearly 100,000 floaters the river channel gets each summer. The channel runs between the Okanagan and Skaha lakes.

Director Allan Patton is all for some cost-sharing and "I think this is quite appropriate for the PIB and the City of Penticton and the surrounding rural areas to be a part of this."

Director Tom Siddon supported Patton's notion and called the channel a regional asset as everyone in the region uses it including himself. He does want to see a solution sooner than later. "We can't procrastinate for another year."

He also wants to know how $40,000 is being spent. He calls the pick-up area at the end of the river "a real dog's breakfast" with weeds and problems. "It's not a very hospitable reception at the end of the channel."

Director Andrew Jakubeit, who sits on Penticton city council, asked the district to wait on a decision as the city needs more time to talk about its possible cost-sharing. The matter was deferred.

To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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