Greater Vernon parks process moving ahead

Greater Vernon’s differences over parks and recreation are a step closer to being resolved.

Representatives from Coldstream, Vernon and the two electoral areas met again Tuesday to try and hammer out details for a prospective deal.

“We addressed all of the issues on the agenda and staff will proceed with finishing the memorandum of understanding,” said Rob Sawatzky, Vernon director.

“They will bring it back to us for review in September.”

The proposal calls for some parks to remain under a joint governance structure. Other parks, though, will become the responsibility of the individual jurisdictions.

All jurisdictions could still have a say over major changes to physical amenities, such as ball and soccer fields, even if they are in a park that is under the control of an individual entity like Vernon or Coldstream.

“Investment in sub-regional interests is important,” said Trafford Hall, Regional District of North Okanagan administrator, of funding that came from all areas to help develop facilities. “We have a big interest in ball fields. Everyone’s kids play everywhere.”

Jim Garlick, Coldstream director, supports  regional scrutiny of facilities in local parks.

“It addresses the concern that things will change. They won’t,” he said of the new parks model.

Among the other issues discussed Tuesday were   governance and reserves allocation.

Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director,  is satisfied with the process towards a final agreement.

“Everyone is on the same page and there are no issues  that are deal-breakers,” he said.


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