Pier’s future in peril

The future of Rotary Pier at Kalamalka Lake Beach is being pondered by politicians.

The pier suffered material damage this week during a storm. Structurally, the dock will be evaluated when historic high water levels recede. If the dock needs major repair work, there is some question about whether the cost will be worth it to fix it.

But politicians wonder if replacing or rebuilding the pier is worth it given that it has become a social and safety issue.

The pier has been a gathering place for people of all ages for decades. Unfortunately, it is quite common to witness alcohol consumption and drug usage; adults don’t feel safe walking into a horde of young people on the pier; parents ask or demand their young kids not to go anywhere near it.

The pier’s safety was called into question after a video went viral on social media showing a fight among teenagers or young adults at a time when the pier is officially closed, and those on the dock that day were blatantly ignoring the signs and barriers to stay off. Calls have been made for increased police presence. The District of Coldstream has increased security and added barricades to prevent unlawful entry to the pier. Anybody in violation faces penalties.

Nothing has been decided about Rotary Pier’s future. It would be a shame to see it go, but it’s a different time we live in now. Used to be the pier was about fun, and it still can be. But when illegal and unsafe activities are putting citizens at risk, politicians are well within their right to question its validity and necessity.