As negotiations continue between the Disrict of Lake Country and the Ministry of Highways to hand over control of the old Highway 97

Pelmewash falling into disrepair and talks centreing around repair work

With Lake Country expecting to take over control of Pelmewash Parkway from the province, costly repair work is at the centre of talks

Residents of Lake Country shouldn’t expect Pelmewash Parkway to turn into the recreational jewel of the area anytime soon.

Talks between the Ministry of Highways and the District of Lake Country to turn the old Highway 97 over the Lake Country control have hit a serious slow-down for a number of factors.

Negotiations on the future of the old CN Rail line through Lake Country as well as the general disrepair of Pelmewash Parkway means the provincial government still owns, makes all the decisions and is responsible for maintenance on Pelmewash Parkway.

“I don’t think anything is going to happen immediately,” said Lake Country councillor Owen Dickie. “Who knows? Ultimately it becomes a budget item for everybody. It depends on our budget and the Ministry of Highways budget.”

And one of the main budget items both the Ministry of Highways and Lake Country are looking at is what could be as much as  $1 million in improvements to the road before any of the work Lake Country would like to do to make it a pedestrian-friendly road can be done.

“Highways would like us to take over without the million (dollars) or more that we have assessed that it would take for scaling work and resurfacing and fixing it to a standard that is at least a municipal standard,” said Lake Country mayor James Baker during the civic election campaign, when asked about Pelmewash Parkway. “We don’t want to sign off until they have done a lot more remediation work.”

When the new Highway 97 opened in the summer of 2013 it re-routed traffic from zipping through Lake Country along the windy stretch of the old highway to a fast, new route that bypassed parts of the municipality. The District spent more than a year holding public consultations with Lake Country residents, asking what they wanted to see on the stretch of lake-front road that would become a municipal road and renamed it Pelmewash Parkway.

But since then there has been little done on Pelmewash and the road has continued to fall further into disrepair.

“The road has not been particularly very well-maintained over the last year,” said Dickie. “It’s been quite awhile since there has been any scaling on the rock faces. There are lots of dead trees and patching work that needs to be done. I’m not terribly excited about taking over something that is going to immediately become a maintenance issue.”

At this point discussions have been taking place between staff at the District of Lake Country and the Ministry of Highways. But separate negotiations that led to a tentative deal for a multi-jurisidictional group to purchase the CN Rail Line for use a trail took time away from the Pelmewash discussions.

Lake Country administrator Alberto De Feo couldn’t comment on any financial numbers associated with the Pelmewash discussions but said staff plans to bring the new council up to speed on the issue after the council is sworn in.

“What I can say is that there are a number of technical details that need to be ironed out,” said De Feo. “The technical discussions take time as there is a fair amount of detail. We want to make sure that the acquisition is not onerous on the taxpayers of Lake Country both technically and financially.”

Just Posted

Man charged with attempted murder in Oliver back in court

Andrew Bradley Miller pleaded guilty to charges of resisting arrest and failure to appear in court

Kelowna Rockets fire head coach

“I feel at this time we need to go in a different direction …”

Wayne Carson re-elected as Central Okanagan West regional director

But his bid to win seats on both the regional board and Kelowna city council comes up short

Three men charged in Michael Bonin’s murder will go straight to trial

The three men are charged with first degree murder in the death a 20-year-old from Alberta.

Okanagan Sun advance to Cullen Cup championship

Will host Langley Rams Oct. 28 with title up for grabs

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Watch it again: Kelowna mayoral candidates square off

Missing the LIVE Kelowna mayoral debate watch now

Man charged with attempted murder in Oliver back in court

Andrew Bradley Miller pleaded guilty to charges of resisting arrest and failure to appear in court

Interior Health urges public to get a flu shot

Health authority says it will help to stop the spread of influenza

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Category 5 Hurricane Willa threatens Mexico’s Pacific coast

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

UPDATE: American rapper killed in skydiving accident

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kelowna

Man who died at BC Ferries terminal shot himself as police fired: watchdog

Officers didn’t commit any offence, says police watchdog office

Most Read