Greater Vernon park plan moving forward

Two meetings, one decision.

Greater Vernon Parks, Recreation and Culture’s regional service review members voted this week to relinquish local parks from under the umbrella of the Regional District of North Okanagan, so that the City of Vernon does not have to give up much governance.

The other alternative was keeping all parks under the regional district which would have required significant governance change, according to RDNO administrator and meetings facilitator Trafford Hall.

“Those two models were explored in great detail over two full meetings,” said Hall. “The decision was made by the respective councils and the electoral areas.”

What the move would mean is that the larger parks currently under the management and maintenance of the regional district would stay under RDNO’s care. Those parks include the DND sports fields, Marshall Field, Polson Park, Paddlewheel Park, Middleton Mountain Park, Middleton Mountain-Prebashewski Trail, Gray Canal, Rocky Ridge, Kin Race Track, Kal Beach (and parking lot), Kin Beach, Ranchlands and Swan Lake.

Local parks with RDNO sub-regional components that would now fall under the care of its respective municipal councils include Alexis, Grahame, Lakeview and MacDonald Parks in Vernon, and Coldstream, Creekside and Lavington Parks, and the Kalavista Boat Launch in Coldstream.

“We have resolved the fundamental decisions on how we will move forward,” said Hall.

Scheduling of the park fields and facilities will remain with the regional district, as will rate setting but with a modified vote.

Maintenance standards determined by field types (that is, softball, baseball or soccer) will be done by regional district. Local councils will be responsible for any maintenance they wish to undertake that is over and above an agreed upon standard.

Two outdoor pools in the region will be considered local, so Vernon will be responsible for the Peanut Pool at Lakeview Park, and Coldstream will take care of Lavington Pool.

Dog parks will also be considered local, falling under the jurisdiction of local councils and electoral areas.

The decision will be copied into a memorandum of understanding, with local councils still having to vote on the matters before they come to fruition.

The committee meets again Thursday.



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