Future home

A pedestrian on Tuesday passes by the empty space under lease to the City of Penticton for a community safety office at 284 Main St.

Taxpayers have now spent nearly $8,000 renting a vacant storefront in downtown Penticton earmarked for a community safety office with an as-yet-unknown opening date.

City spokesman Phillip Cooper says the $1,950-a-month lease for a unit in 284 Main St. on Nanaimo Square has been running since July.

However, it’s unclear when the office, which is to be shared by city bylaw and RCMP officers, will actually open.

“The city will be providing a community update on how that space will support council’s safety priority later this month, along with a projected opening,” Cooper said in an email.

He noted final design work is underway now.

“Attention was directed at making the best use of the available space at that location, which included discussions around the RCMP’s unique space standards,” which “typically emphasize higher levels of security with respect to access, sound and data.”

The renovation cost is now estimated at $250,000, down from the $280,000 approved by council during its 2019 budget deliberations, thanks to “a different configuration of space use for the RCMP.”

RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager declined to comment on specifics of the force’s needs, instead referring a request for comment to the city.