West Bench

RDOS says no to lakeside trail from Penticton to Summerland

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has politely declined participation in a four-party master plan for a bike link between Penticton and Summerland along Highway 97.

The B.C. government proposed a study on a multi-use trail linking Trout Creek to Penticton with the cost being shared by the province, City of Penticton, RDOS and District of Summerland.

The master plan would cost $110,000, with each partner's share being $27,500. If approved, the trail would cost around $7.8 million.

Development potential on the greater West Bench

I sent the following to the Board of Education Trustee for rural Penticton, Ginny Manning.  The email is a follow-on to my previous comments on this issue:

Subject: Re: West Bench school closure and growth
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2016 23:01:02 -0800
From: Michael Brydon 
To: Ginny Manning
CC: Bill Newell, Andrew Jakubeit

Hi Ginny,

Other signs on West Bench Hill Road

Just a heads-up: crews will be working to install the West Bench sign at the bottom on West Bench Hill Road.  To work freely, they will have to remove all the signs that are currently spread across the highways right-of-way.  Once the West Bench sign is constructed and the area around it is landscaped with natural vegetation we will likely take it upon ourselves to keep the area clear of signs (they are not supposed to be in the highways right-of-way in any case).

West Bench parents want their school taken off list of facilities being considered for closure

Noting the potential for serious health and cultural impacts, parents of West Bench Elementary students are asking their community’s school be removed from the list of those identified for possible closure.

“Our whole community is dependent on that school. It’s how we stay connected, it’s how our friends know their neighbours, and we think that’s pretty important,” said Riley Gettens on behalf of the West Bench Parent Advisory Council.

Blasting for West Bench reservoir

Note from RDOS staff regarding the West Bench reservoir:

We wanted to let people know about some small blasts we are going to be executing today and possibly over the next several days in the West Bench & Sage Mesa area, west of Penticton. We are installing a new reservoir and have encountered rock that we need to blast out. The charges are expected to be relatively small but some people may get worried and call wondering what it is.

The blasting should be finished in a couple days depending on if more is found as the excavation continues.

Please don’t hesitate to provide people with my contact info if they have questions.

Liisa Bloomfield, P.Eng. ● Engineer/Engineering Supervisor
p. 250.490.4229 ● tf. 1.877.610.3737 ● f. 250.492.0063
www.rdos.bc.ca ● Lbloomfield@rdos.bc.ca

Issues: 

Electoral Area “F” Community Works (Gas Tax) Reserve Fund Expenditure Bylaw 2721

Board date: 
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Neighborhood: 

This is the bylaw that allows us to spend money on lights for the West Bench pedestrian corridor. The lights (recall surveys) have been ordered and will be installed in time for the spring walking season (hopefully).

The text of the report is as follows:

The project will utilize up to $60,000 of Gas Tax funding to enhance active transportation and recreation opportunities by installing nineteen (19) Class 1 LED lights and poles along the West Bench Pedestrian Corridor/Pathway and installing LED signage lighting.

The Area F Community Works (Gas Tax) Reserve balance at the end of 2014 was approximately $286,000. The estimated 2015 allocation is approximately $102,000.

Any money left over from the lighting project (fingers crossed) will be applied to the West Bench Hill Road sign project.

Keep Westbench Elementary Open!

As you may know, a group of West Bench residents has created a group to advocate to keep West Bench Elementary School open.  They have a Facebook page here.

Also, there is a public meeting on December 1st at 7 PM.

My original posting on this topic can be found here.

Update 03 Dec 2015:

A good turnout at the meeting.

 

 

Washroom for Selby Park

As discussed previously, the Area F Parks Commission put money in the 2015 budget for a washroom in Selby Park.  It makes little sense to have a park in a rural setting without a few basic amenities.  We believe the washroom (and water bottle fill station) will be well received by the young families, horse riders, and mountain bikers who routinely use the park.

One decision we did make earlier in the year was to go for a fully serviced toilet and sink rather than an outhouse.  Outhouses are cheaper but, let's face it: they are disgusting.

Update 13 Nov 2015:

I received the following update from Mark Woods, the RDOS Community Services Manager:

Issues: 

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