Okanagan jail delays frustrate Summerland mayor
Concern expressed that HST defeat may put jail on shelf
The mayor of Summerland is frustrated that no decision has been made yet on where to build a 360-bed provincial jail in the Okanagan.
The province was expected to announce the location early this summer, says Mayor Janice Perrino.
"We had hoped to hear as early as April and then we were told in June," said Perrino.
"From our point of view, we would just like to know, one way or the other, so we know how to move forward. We have spent a lot of time on this issue," she said.
Not only has a lot of time been spent on the issue, it has split the community.
"It's clearly one of those issues that, you know, 50 per cent are for, and basically, 50 per cent are against," said Perrino.
4 communities compete for jail
The District of Summerland, which has a population just over 10,000, is one of four communities that has indicated it's interested in the facility. Lumby, the Penticton Indian Band and the Osoyoos Indian Band are also vying for the project.
A spokesperson for Solicitor General Shirley Bond says the review process is continuing. But, would not say when a decision is expected. The B.C. government has said it wants to have the facility built by 2015.
But the delay has left Perrino afraid the province may decide not to move ahead on the jail at all.
"My concern of course is that, now that the HST has failed, if there are any major costs for the province, that this could be shelved," said Perrino.