Is this fair for all parties?

Dear Editor:

Penticton City has signed a contract with the Penticton Indian Band.

a.) We give the PIB 10 per cent of gambling grants.

b.) The City cooperates on tourism and a Cultural Centre at the S.S. Sicamous.

c.) The City and PIB will cooperate on facilities infrastructure.

d.) The PIB will rezone land for residential, commercial and light industrial uses.

Was the annual gaming grant to the PIB a fair exchange contract for value earned and a benefit to both parties?

a.) Is there a cap on the sharing of apparently rapidly escalating gambling revenue? $200,000 annually ad infinitum; is $1 million every five years and according to Mayor Jakubeit likely to increase. (Herald Jan 7) Penticton already favours business with many tax incentives. Jakubeit paints a rosy picture of $100-million in revenues; rapidly escalating gaming profits and community involvement to excuse PIB previous inaction on needed industrial rezoning.

Was PIB cooperation gained by a cash settlement even though an expansion of the Industrial Park would be beneficial to both parties?  Penticton infrastructure takes a back seat again.

b.) Will the PIB build; sustain and pay property tax on the proposed cultural centre?

c.) Will the PIB contribute monetarily to facilities infrastructure; in and/or outside the City? Or; except for available PIB land is that our dime also?

d.) What guarantees are in place that this $200,000 (escalating) annual cost to the taxpayers of Penticton will ensure that there is adequate continual industrial expansion as needed?

If the PIB break this agreement what guarantees are in place to ensure built up industrial sections on PIB lands are entailed to ensure business continuity? What negotiations has council undertaken to ensure the PIB contributes towards the local tax base?

Did the negotiations bring accountability to ensure that future families living in Skaha Hills and myriad other PIB developments will contribute their share to the school tax base? Will they contribute to the Penticton property tax base whose facilities infrastructure they will use? Or is this our dime too?

Taxpayers of Save Skaha Park were denied a seat on the new parks advisory committee; the PIB was given a seat. Who does council work for?

What interaction with provincial and federal governments did Penticton council undertake during these negotiations to forge an agreement on the future fiscal responsibility of the PIB so the financial interests of the taxpayers of Penticton are protected?

Elvena Slump

Penticton