District of Coldstream crews put additional barricades at Kal dock after it was damaged during the wind storm Thursday. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Rotary rooting for pier

Coldstream flooded with support for Kal Beach dock

Pressure continues to surface to save a hot spot in Coldstream.

The future of the Rotary Pier at Kal Beach has been in question following flood damage, as well as vandalism and unsavoury activity.

But since the pier bears its name and was built on its support, local Rotary clubs want to see the popular amenity remain.

“We built that pier originally 50-60 years ago and gave it to the city for community use,” said Russell Shortt, a 47-year member of Vernon Rotary. “The pier’s an important public facility and every effort should be made to keep it.”

Shortt recently questioned all three local Rotary clubs (Kalamalka, Vernon and Silver Star) and asked their thoughts on the issue.

“They all voted unanimously to have it stay,” said Shortt.

He could not say if Rotary would be able to fund any repairs needed on the pier, as the beach and pier is owned by the Regional District of North Okanagan while Coldstream has occupation and control of it.

“Normally the people we give the gift to are to maintain it,” said Shortt.

Judging by online comments and letters to the editor, seeing the pier remain is urged by more than just Rotary members.

“That reflects almost every comment I’ve heard on the issue,” said Coldstream Coun. Richard Enns.

Coun. Peter McClean agrees that the public wants to keep the amenity in place and any discussions of removing it are unnecessary.

“In the long term, we’re getting ahead of ourselves,” said McClean.

Efforts are currently underway to preserve the pier as flood waters remain in place and it’s believed there is insurance in place.

“Some of the boards have been removed to try and mitigate some of the damage,” said Trevor Seibel, Coldstream’s chief administrative officer. “We haven’t been able to get in there (to determine the extent of the damage) – the water’s too high.”

Efforts are also underway to preserve the integrity of the area following acts of vandalism, fights and public drug use and intoxication.

Commissionaires are patrolling on the weekends and more frequent patrols are being looked at during the summer months.

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