Downtown Vernon beautification gets funds

More money is being pumped into keeping downtown Vernon look attractive.

Vernon council has decided to provide an additional $1,787 to the Downtown Vernon Association to oversee maintenance and beautification downtown. The budget had previously included $30,203.

“As the cost has increased for maintenance and beautification, our grant to cover things has remained stable,” said Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe.

“It’s a form of downloading.”

While the city used to handle maintenance itself, that task was handed over to the DVA years ago.

Bar Watch On Tap

Efforts are underway to end rowdy behaviour in downtown Vernon after hours.

The Downtown Vernon Association wants the city to help establish a Bar Watch program.

“It will discourage patrons from participating in unlawful behaviour,” said Ruth Hoyte, DVA president.

The program would involve owners of drinking establishments, the RCMP, the city and liquor licensing inspectors.

Hoyte said the program would promote safety for all patrons visiting downtown.

Infrastructure funding sought

The City of Vernon hopes federal gas tax revenue will fuel capital upgrades.

In order of priority, the city will apply for $336,000 for an asset management plan, $1.6 million for a multi-use path on Kalamalka Lake Road and $619,000 for a Willow Park sewer extension.

It was originally suggested that the city seek $849,229 for the Kal Lake Road project with Vernon providing $753,090, but that raised some concerns.

“It will use up all of our transportation development cost charges (reserves),” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.

In the end, it was decided by council to pursue the total cost from the federal government.

Water Switch Garners Praise

Everyone involved in a shift in Greater Vernon water sources is getting an enthusiastic pat on the back.

On April 27, the Regional District of North Okanagan switched customers from the Kalamalka Lake source to Duteau Creek because heavy rain had created high turbidity.

“This had not been done before,” said Renee Clark, RDNO’s water quality manager.

RDNO worked closely with City of Vernon staff on the process, which included turning the Mission Hill treatment plant off.

“It was their ingenuity that played an  important role,” said Shirley Koenig, the city’s operations manager, of her staff.

The Kalamalka Lake source was turned back on May 8.


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