Stipend shrinks, park petition, Lakers upgraded
The amount of money available for councillors’ meeting pay is shrinking.
About $22,335 had been budgeted in 2013 to cover meeting pay for council members but that has been reduced by $10,000 to $12,335.
“A majority of the members have never used this amount in previous years,” said Coun. Patrick Nicol.
The stipend is supposed to help compensate a councillor who loses time from work by attending a council meeting.
“Council has used so little of this, it’s been reduced,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.
Heritage Park’s future a concern
There is a push to save a Vernon park.
The City of Vernon has been lobbied by residents to maintain Heritage Park even though the Vernon School District wants to sell the Bella Vista site.
“It is used by young and old alike,” said Andy Hume, a resident involved in a petition campaign.
The school district purchased the land years ago as a potential school site but it’s never been developed and has been leased to the regional district for park. The school district recently designated it surplus.
The park is popular for walking dogs while other activities also occur there.
“Such a greenspace will be important as the population densifies,” said Hume.
The City of Vernon will ultimately be responsible for local park matters under a new parks structure.
“It’s not going to fall off the table,” Mayor Rob Sawatzky said of the residents’ concerns.
Lakers Clubhouse gets upgrades
Vernon’s newest community centre is receiving more upgrades.
Council has agreed to take the surplus $34,809 from the Lakers Clubhouse grant project and put it towards an outside function area and storage building.
“The construction of a storage building and a function area is listed in council’s three-year strategic plan as part of creating a safe, vibrant family community,” said Doug Ross, recreation services manager.
The original grant project, estimated at $100,000, included flooring, a playground and acoustic panelling. Funds came from the provincial government.