Downtown Penticton breezeway to be gated at night | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Downtown Penticton breezeway to be gated at night

Vandalized new artwork and clean up of discarded items are two of many problems Penticton City Council is trying to remedy with installation of gates in the 200 block breezeway.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / City of Penticton
February 17, 2021 - 5:30 PM

Penticton’s 200-block breezeway will be gated overnight in an effort to reduce unwanted activities in the downtown core.

City council voted unanimously to install metal gates that would be closed from dusk until dawn after listening to a report by city planner Blake Laven at yesterday’s regular council meeting.

Laven said the city has been dealing with such problems as vagrancy, graffiti, vandalism, littering, drug use and solicitation.

Recently installed artwork was tagged within days of installation.

City staff also have to deal with sleeping transients, and pickup of abandoned items left in the breezeway. He said the Downtown Penticton Association favoured the installation of metal gates as the most effective way of dealing with the myriad issues.

A budget of $20,000 to design, build and install the gates will need to come from a budget amendment, as the gates are not part of the 2021 budget. Laven said an additional $9,000 would be needed to cover staff costs to open and close the gates on a daily basis.

Couns. Judy Sentes and Katie Robinson both voiced concerns about the gate’s budget for construction and daily opening and closing, noting an email submitted to council in which a neighbouring business offered to open and close the breezeway gates for much less than $9,000.

Laven said it was probable the costs for opening and closing would likely not reach the amount budgeted, but noted there would be a cost for it in some form, no matter who opened it.

“I think we can… figure out how to do this,” Coun. Robinson said in regard to streamlining the cost of opening and closing the gates.

Council agreed unanimously to a staff recommendation to install and fund the gates.

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