Rent to Trio for 5 years

Dear Editor:

At the Trade and Convention Centre Wednesday night, I could have sworn I heard repeated assurances that Trio was “renting only the marina.”

Well, yes.

Renting only the marina, true. But, they were not “only renting the marina.” The City is waiving its usual purchasing policy, and grants that, once the City develops a parks policy, it will not apply retroactively to Trio.

Is that exemption being granted to other existing businesses in parks? Trio will also receive the license for the concession. For 29 years. And the option to replace the existing building. Is that building structurally unsound, or functionally inadequate? If changes are to be made, would remodelling be a more ecologically and economically friendly option? And, somehow, a kiosk can be added somewhere.

Between January and May 2018, Penticton and Trio shall develop a proposal for a seasonal water play structure on the foreshore. If Penticton and Trio cannot agree on a proposal, no other proposal may be considered until 2028.

Trio has the lakeshore water play possibilities locked up until 2028. It seems that if a new boathouse/concession amenity is to be built, Trio has first kick at operations. And, if no deal, then the city may not enter into any other arrangement until 2028.

I don’t quite follow all the roundabouts in this section, and may have misinterpreted. Whatever the case is, Trio’s interests seem to be well protected.

The whole waterfront of Skaha Lake Park becomes an exclusion area, and “Penticton will not issue an expression of interest, request for proposal or grant any form of license or lease for commercial operations related to water or lake activities within the exclusion area…” and limitations favourable to Trio are imposed on this area until 2021, with a further limit until 2026 that only competitive process may be used relating to commercial operations.

Be careful, people.

Don’t read only the revised settlement. Also read the proposed new contract. It looks a lot like the old one, with a few things trimmed out.

After hearing some of the history of this situation, I’m not sure I can rely on the guarantees of public consultation by the City. As far as I understand, consulting means having a meeting and talking. It doesn’t mean agreeing on anything or following any particular course of action.

My bottom line: rent the marina to Trio, for five years. Period. No further options in other parts of the park to be negotiated, no exclusions, exclusive rights, concessions, kiosks, or any other ideas. After five years, if Trio has done a good job of the marina, does its homework and presents a sound, detailed plan, then they can rebuild the marina and have a 20-year lease.

And we can start talking about other stuff.

Ron Smuin

Penticton