192 193 surface in Memorial Arena to preserve that building and accommodate other user groups that are limited due to the predominance of ice users. “The Okanagan Hockey Academy is an international company headquartered here in Penticton that generates just shy of $20 million per year in economic impact. Training their eight teams takes a lot of daytime ice time. Most commu- nities don’t need four arenas, but with the hockey school it makes sense. The federal government just offered us a $6 million grant toward the Memorial Arena project, contingent on us getting the other financing in place within a year. That’s where we are now, redefin- ing the business model and financial information to determine how to fund a $32 million project, as planned.” BVM: What initiatives have you done regarding infrastructure and sustain- ability? Mayor Jakubeit: “We have an asset management plan, and part of our commitment to dealing with the infra- structure deficit is heavy investment in GIS mapping to get our whole infra- structure, including pipes in the ground, electrical grid, etc., mapped with up- grades and maintenance. So, you can click on a pipe anywhere in the city and know when it was installed or repaired. We still spend $16 million per year on capital projects dealing with infrastruc- ture; it’s a never-ending challenge. “We’ve been doing a lot of work on PENTICTON, BRITISH COLUMBIA our creeks and waterways, partly because of high water over the past year. Ellis Creek in the down- town core received major upgrades, including a thousand-foot showcase piece right by one of the bridges and walking trails, so people can see what a rehabilitated creek looks like. It was formerly channelized with a concrete creek bed and now it’s a naturalized walk and very picturesque. “We’ve also applied to the federal government for a smart grid grant for putting solar panels on city facilities, upgrading wastewater pump controls with a smart controller to regulate power consumption, and upgrading a diesel stand-by generator for peak load generation.These initiatives reduce costs, as well as greenhouse gases.” BVM: What else would you like people to know about the City of Penticton? Mayor Jakubeit: “CFIB consistently ranks us as one of the most entrepreneurial cities in Canada,we’ve been nominated several times for Open for Busi- ness Awards, and we’re very cognizant of creating an environmentally-friendly and business-friendly community.We’re always looking inward for im- provements to make us a more efficient organi- zation that’s not bogged down with red tape and bureaucracy.That’s a benefit for everyone who lives, visits, and does business in Penticton.” PREFERRED VENDOR n FortisBC Energy www.fortisbc.com FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on provid- ing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs ap- proximately 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American utilities.