Now that there’s a possibility a referendum will be needed to approve construction of a hotel at the convention centre, the mayor won’t rule out tacking on a question about a water park development at Skaha Lake.
Andrew Jakubeit warned, however, that a two-question vote is unlikely.
“They’re two separate issues and timelines may not coincide, for starters,” he said, noting it could be months before a hotel proposal – if any even come forward – is ready to be put to voters for approval.
Plus, “You don’t want to have a referendum every time there’s a difficult decision to be made. That’s why a mayor and council is elected,” he added.
But he left the door open to revisit council’s decision to strike a deal with Trio Marine Group to redevelop a portion of Skaha Lake Park to add water slides, a plan that has proven contentious enough to inspire a rally Monday at City Hall.
“Park land certainly brings out a lot of passion in people, and that’s good that we’re having a dialogue on our community’s future,” said Jakubeit.
The mayor confirmed council will be watching to see how many people turn out for the rally and how many names are gathered on a petition against the project before it will consider backtracking on the water park.
“Right now, we’re still moving forward, but if there’s significant concern demonstrated in the community, then of course we’ll have to re-evaluate what we want to do and have a discussion about what we want to do next and how we want to deal with it,” said Jakubeit.
Meanwhile, Trio Marine Group has issued an open letter to Penticton residents to clear up some misconceptions about the project. It’s available in the letters section of the Herald website.