by John Arendt
Summerland’s transit service — or more specifically the lack of a scheduled transit service — will be on the table once again when Summerland council representatives attend the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention later this month.
As in previous years, Mayor Janice Perrino will ask when the municipality will get a scheduled bus service.
“I’m getting tired of doing this annually,” she said.
The community has limited bus service, by reservation only.
A bus from Summerland to Penticton runs Monday to Friday at 7 a.m. and 1:45 p.m., with service from Penticton to Summerland at 8:15 a.m. and 3 p.m.
On the first Tuesday of the month, a bus for specialist appointments leaves Summerland at 9:30 a.m. and returns from Penticton at 1 p.m.
The need for a bus service has been discussed for close to a decade and when improvements were made to Rosedale Avenue and Prairie Valley Road in 2010, bus shelters were included.
In addition to the questions about transit service, Perrino will also meet with the Minister of Health on ambulatory care and expansion at the Penticton Regional Hospital.
She will also meet with the Minister of Agriculture to discuss strategies for future growth.
“When we remove land from the Agricultural Land Reserve, we have to consult with the Agricultural Land Commission,” she said.
Some of the land near Summerland’s core is in the land reserve, even though it has not been actively farmed for years.
Perrino has repeatedly presented a plan to have growth in the community concentrated within a 10-minute walk from the downtown core. This could result in removing some of these properties from the land reserve.
“Are we going in the right direction by doing the 10-minute walk?” she asked.
She added that the municipality may not attempt to stop growth in the community.
If Summerland’s population grows by two per cent a year, it would take 10 years before the community would reach a population of 12,000, she said.
The Union of B.C. Municipalities convention will be held Sept. 24 to 28 in Victoria.
In addition to Perrino, Coun. Peter Waterman, Coun. Orv Robson and acting municipal administrator Ken Ostraat will attend.