Alcohol is now allowed in parts of Penticton’s Skaha Park.
Following the successful implementation of a pilot program allowing alcohol consumption along the Okanagan Lake waterfront, liquor will now be allowed on the Skaha Park’s western half, including the beach. The city will erect signs to mark the boundary between the drinking and non-drinking areas.
The bylaw takes effect immediately, allowing adults to drink alcohol in the area between noon and 8 p.m. until Oct. 15.
City council gave tentative approval to the expansion of the city’s public liquor consumption pilot program — which is already in effect along the Okanagan Lake waterfront — at its meeting on Tuesday, July 21, but requested staff address issues concerning garbage at the busier-than-ever parks before the amendment’s final approval.
“There are times toward the end of each day when the garbage cans are full and additional garbage is being left on the ground. It’s a bit of a problem,” city parks staff told council.
The city is looking into several improvements including hiring additional cleaning staff, deploying extra garbage bins and using technology to monitor the fullness of the bins.
Coun. Judy Sentes and Coun. Frank Regehr urged city staff to look into plans to communicate to park-goers the need to pick up their trash. Council hopes people can pick up even a small portion of the trash they bring with them, to ease the burden on the city clean-up crews.
“Take home what you bring, and that will certainly help,” said Sentes.
Following the report, council approved the amendment with a 3-1 vote. Sentes was the lone vote against the motion and has voiced her opposition to the program in the past. Mayor John Vassilaki, and councillors Julius Bloomfield and Jake Kimberley were not present for the vote.
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