The towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are beginning to look into the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)

The towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are beginning to look into the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)

South Okanagan leaders team up to get ball rolling on regional aquatic centre

Oliver and Osoyoos have long expressed desire for a year-round indoor aquatic centre

The towns of Oliver and Osoyoos are making moves towards the creation of a much-desired aquatic centre.

Both communities have long expressed interest in a year-round indoor aquatic centre.

Now, the Towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band have taken the next step by beginning to form the South Okanagan Regional Aquatic Center Advisory Committee.

The three councils have given the contract for the feasibility study of the South Okanagan Regional Aquatic Center to Sierra Management and Planning.

They have also appointed members of their respective councils along with staff and members at large to the committee. The Town of Oliver is still recruiting a member from the public to join the committee.

The committee’s mandate will be to act in an advisory and leadership role to facilitate the process to develop a South Okanagan Aquatic Centre feasibility study on behalf of the residents.

READ MORE: Osoyoos Indian Band, Oliver and Osoyoos jointly seek feasibility study for regional aquatic centre

Sierra Management and Planning was chosen after they submitted a proposal that indicated comprehensive experience with business and financial planning, said the three councils in a joint press release

As the process unfolds it will include opportunities for public engagement after more information has been compiled.

The Town of Osoyoos appointed councillors Jim King and Myers Bennett to the committee. Gerald Davis, director of community Services will be the staff representative.

Council also appointed Barry Romanko as the member at large. Romanko is the former CAO of Osoyoos and was initially involved in the infancy of the project.

“The Town of Osoyoos looks forward to this opportunity to engage with the community and its partners in this initiative that the community has been requesting,” reads a press release from the town.

The Osoyoos Indian Band Chief and Council appointed Sammy Louie and Sonya Jensen as members of council and Mike Campol, chief operating officer as the member at large.

“This is an important opportunity. Should the outcome of this study chart a path forward, this level of collaboration could become a model for rural communities throughout the province. What better way to show that when local leaders come together, the residents of multiple communities will reap the benefits,” said Campol.

The Town of Oliver has appointed councillors Petra Veintimilla and David Mattes as members of the committee. The town’s CAO and recreation manager, Carol Sheridan were appointed as support staff.

“Oliver recognizes the value of joint service delivery and the direct benefit for residents in each of our respective communities,” reads a statement from the Town of Oliver. “The culture of collaboration enables us to work together to build on projects such as the aquatic centre which would be unattainable for one government independently.”

The next steps involve scheduling a series of meetings with the consultant and the committee. The committee plans to have a final report completed by the end of October.

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jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

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