'Show must go on': Penticton council agrees to pay for DPA events - InfoNews

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'Show must go on': Penticton council agrees to pay for DPA events

Penticton City Council agreed on a budget to fund civic events given up by the Downtown Penticton Association at today's regular council meeting, April 2, 2019.
April 02, 2019 - 4:07 PM

PENTICTON - Penticton city councillors agreed to spend over $117,000 to host the civic events it acquired from the Downtown Penticton Association, but not without some grumbling.

Director of Recreation and Facilities Bregje Kozak told council today, April 2, the estimated cost to pay for Canada Day festivities, fireworks for Canada Day, B.C. Day celebrations, the Santa Parade and the Rock the Sun event came to a total of $117,455.

Council agreed to take on the events after the Downtown Penticton Association approached council earlier this year for more city funding, then later divested themselves of them entirely.

Bregje said the events were expected to generate $45,000 in revenues, resulting in a net cost of $72,000, of which $34,000 had already been budgeted. Council was asked to approve an additional $38,465.10 to the city’s sport and recreation budget, with funds to be generated through administrative savings.

Coun. Katie Robinson expressed interest in dropping the Rock the Sun event, saying there should be consequences to the business association’s move to abandon the program so suddenly.

“There should be some pain involved when decisions like this are made,” Robinson said.

Coun. Frank Regehr echoed Robinson’s sentiments, calling the acquisition of the civic events “a surprise after budget approval.” He said it amounted to a sizeable budget increase and asked if the city needed to buy into every event.

“I disagree with the taxpayer picking everything up,” Regehr said.

Coun. Jake Kimberley lamented the Downtown Penticton Association’s move, saying its reputation was at stake.

“To me it’s really sad to hear the Downtown Penticton Association put this to us because, I think, personally, they’ve damaged their public relations as such by doing so,” he said, adding the city couldn’t do without these events.

“I’m really saddened the DPA hasn’t recognized they are damaging their public relations, when every effort is made to encourage economy in the downtown core,” Kimberley said.

Coun. Julius Bloomfield also agreed the costly events had been dropped on the city but said, “We have to catch the ball and run with it. We are a host city, the show must go on.”

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