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Park taxes on the way up in 2013

Recreational amenities will cost a little bit more.

Greater Vernon Advisory Committee directors decided Tuesday to increase the 2013 tax requisition by 1.87 per cent for parks, recreation and culture.

The hike is largely because of employee wages and the cost of the April sports complex referendum.

“We’re trying to acknowledge the economic conditions we’re faced with while providing services,” said David Sewell, general manager of finance.

However, chairperson Mike Macnabb questions some expenditures.

“I’m just trying to save some money,” he said.

Among the items that caught Macnabb’s eye is a new zamboni at Priest Valley Arena.

“Do you go on Craig’s list and say, ‘Instead of a zamboni for $115,900, I can get one (used) for $60,000?’ They don’t get used a lot,” he said.

The budget calls for three new playgrounds — $113,500 at Mission Hill Park and $56,700 at Alexis Park.

“Children spend about 20 per cent of their time on the structures we go to great expense to put up for them and the rest of the time, they are running around,” said Macnabb.

“Is there good value for money?”

Another item of interest for Macnabb was $30,000 for umbrellas for the Boys and Girls Club playground.

“That’s a big number. Can’t we just give them baseball caps?” he said of keeping the sun off the children.

However, parks planner Keith Pinkoski says there is a need for the umbrellas.

“We put down (rubber) surfacing which removed grass and some of the shade. It’s like a big heat trap for the kids playing in the area,” he said.

Director Bob Fleming is concerned that $450,000 for change rooms at Marshall Park may not make the budget again.

“All of these fields are serviced with zero change rooms,” said Fleming. “It’s a poor setup for the volume of people that use it.”

 

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