Jakubeit signs waterpark agreement

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit

City, Trio Marine Group sign agreement for expansion of marina at Skaha Lake Park

A lease agreement between Trio Marine Group and the City of Penticton that includes controversial plans for Skaha Lake Park has been signed, Mayor Andrew Jakubeit confirmed Friday.

In an interview, Jakubeit said the three-step project to expand the marina at Skaha Lake Park as well as build a restaurant and waterslide park was signed Tuesday.

The expansion will begin with adding 100 boat slips in 2016. Completion of a new restaurant is scheduled for 2017. The water park, with five slides and a miniature golf course, is scheduled to be completed by 2018.

Trio took over operation of the marina this year, ending a longtime relationship between the city and the Attrill family, the previous operators.

“There are all kinds of misconceptions that we’re giving away 50 per cent of the park, that people won’t be able to use the beach again,” Jakubeit said. “It’s 11 per cent of available green space in an area that’s underutilized.

“How can we get greater utilization? We want to brand ourselves back to being the premier tourist destination and offer more things for people to do.”

The waterslides have generated considerable opposition in the community. Several petitions have been circulated, with one including 3,000 names of mostly local residents.

The mayor said he also receives praise from others happy to see an effort to boost the local economy.

Jakubeit said the contract, which was reviewed by different legal experts in addition to the city’s solicitor, has a strict set of terms and conditions, beginning with relocating the Rotary children’s splash park, which he said is 20 years old.

“There are conditions with timelines, and we require detailed drawings of the proposal, financial commitments and a bond equal to the value of the construction before any construction begins.”

Jakubeit said that for Trio to solidify funding, it first required city approval.

“They can now go to the bank and say, ‘Yes, we have a deal in place. Here’s our idea. Can you fund us?’

“There’s still a long ways to go in the process and there are conditions, and if they’re not met the project either stalls or dies.”