Photo: City of Penticton
Penticton City Council is moving forward with funding for recreational-grade lighting at the local Riverside Skate Park.
In a presentation to council on Tuesday, utility manager Draydan Power presented city staff with a recommendation for a $350,000 investment in lighting for the park, located on Riverside Drive.
The Council had previously supported the project in theory.
The only issue at hand on Tuesday was what level of lighting – lamp intensity, required infrastructure and so on – and how much the council was willing to spend on it.
Power explained that the recommended lights, which will provide consistent, even lighting across the skatepark and basketball court areas, meet a standard commonly used for recreational use.
A cheaper option, at less than $100,000, for standard street lighting would cast potentially dangerous shadows for park users.
Additional high-power temporary lights can be added if necessary if competition events take place on site.
Power further explained that although the exact operating hours of the lights have not yet been decided, the city will work to ensure that light pollution is not intrusive in adjacent neighborhoods.
Cond. Isaac Gilbert spoke in support of the funding.
“I think it’s a really good asset to be able to light up a place to make it safe for kids,” Gilbert said.
“And I think it will also have another effect, having more eyes on the street, more eyes in that area, to also reduce any kind of unwanted behavior in the area, having more people in the area.”
Cond. James Miller was concerned about light pollution and skeptical about whether this project was the right one at this time for such a heavy investment.
“The way I see it, the skate park is open until 9:30 at night during the summer months, I walk my dog until late. Is there an art and culture project that would perhaps benefit children and teenagers more? the Foundry? Is there another sport?” Miller asked.
“So I'm voting against it, a little reluctantly, but maybe we can kick the ball in a few years.”
But ultimately, the motion to spend about $350,000 on new lighting passed, with Miller opposed.