While Penticton residents want closure on the Skaha Lake issue, I don’t think that they want to give the park to Trio Marine Group for nothing, and, in addition, pay them compensation to take it off our hands.
The proposal put forth by council at Tuesday’s meeting is so bad for the city that I don’t think that it should receive any further consideration. There appears to be many sections in the document that open up the possibility for Trio Marine to start other commercial enterprises within various areas of the park at future dates.
Basically we are giving Trio Marine Group control over the park, and compensating them for taking that control while receiving a minimal percentage of the profits, none of which are certain.
This agreement was obviously drafted by Trio Marine Group and accepted verbatim by city negotiators. The mayor and city council have painted themselves into a corner from which escape will probably prove costly to Penticton residents and taxpayers. In other words, another costly fiasco.
The wise thing now is to do nothing. Hold Trio Marine Group to the time line for obtaining financing for the original project, and, if they fail to do so, cancel the contract (at no cost to the city). Apparently the city had the option to do that when the last deadline was missed by Trio, but, for reasons unknown (as we knew the same things then that we know now), an extension was granted.
Trio will have to negotiate with the First Nations band on their land issues, obtain any approval from the provincial government on marina expansion and environmental matters related to the pond area, get through the two lawsuits outstanding, and arrange financing for the work. A pretty formidable task to complete by the deadline considering that their commercial facilities, if ever built, will undoubtedly receive no support but only opposition from most Penticton residents.
In other words a recipe for economic failure.