News

Civic complex campaign costs $373,538

THE CIVIC complex never materialized but it still cost taxpayers $373,538. - ARTIST RENDERING
THE CIVIC complex never materialized but it still cost taxpayers $373,538.
— image credit: ARTIST RENDERING

Vernonites forked out considerable dollars for a civic complex that hasn’t materialized.

Council received a staff report Monday that shows that $373,538 was spent on the proposed civic complex through the failed alternative approval process last summer and the defeated referendum in January.

“There is nothing to show for it,” said Tony Stamboulieh, spokesman for the Vernon Taxpayers Association which successfully campaigned against the city.

“This (costs) reinforces the perception and reality that a small group of insiders decided what will go through and taxpayers be damned. Those days are over.”

Of the total figure, $110,000 was covered by Okanagan Regional Library, with the city’s cost being $263,538.

The expenses include $167,137 paid to CEI Architecture, $30,295 to MQN Architects, $53,330 to MCW Consultants and $27,000 to Spiegel Skillen and Associates.

In terms of public relations and advertising, $27,961 was spent. Of that, $20,861 went to The Morning Star.

The financial details have reinforced Coun. Barry Beardsell’s opposition to the process the city followed for the complex.

“I find it excessive especially when added to what was spent by the previous cultural committee. That was about $260,000,” he said.

“It’s money down the drain and apologies are due to the taxpayers.”

However, Mayor Wayne Lippert defends the final tab.

“It’s the cost of doing business and taking information forward,” he said.

“It didn’t go down the drain. A lot of good information was brought together over the years by this council and other councils.”

That view is also supported by Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

“You need to pay architects if you are going to have an idea of design and costs before going to the public.”

Cunningham believes some of the concepts developed through the planning process could be used in future.

“We still need an art gallery,” she said.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Potential ambassadors gather in Merritt
 
Village voters give Acton another chance
 
Film setting scene in North Okanagan
Avanti Mining eyes export through Prince Rupert
 
South Okanagan wild horse issue will only get worse
 
Wood WORKS! honours select municipalities
Fire hydrant sheared in hit-and-run
 
Health ministers reassure Canadians about Ebola
 
New executive in place at Penticton Legion

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 1 edition online now. Browse the archives.