Sports facility interest on track

Momentum appears to be building for a Greater Vernon sports complex.

Regional District of North Okanagan officials say there is growing interest in a running track and sports field next to Okanagan College.

“We have attended several events and made presentations to organizations,” said Tannis Nelson, community development co-ordinator.

Residents will be asked April 6 to authorize the borrowing of $7.5 million to construct a sports complex, with the funds repaid over 20 years.

Much of the pre-referendum promotion is being left to a steering committee comprised of user groups.

“They are getting out there and beating the bushes,” said director Mike Macnabb.

“It’s wonderful to see from the grassroots.”

Director Mary-Jo O’Keefe also believes support for the referendum is increasing.

“The running clubs are excited and they have talked to their members to get out and vote,” she said.

“It gives families and kids a proper facility and something they’ve asked for.”

Beyond families, director Bob Fleming is convinced the facility could be popular with all residents after seeing a running track in Richmond.

“While we were there, there was a steady flow of walkers and runners. It didn’t stop,” he said.

“The guy in Richmond (recreation staff) says it starts at 4:30 a.m. and goes until the lights are turned off at night.”

While there are many positive comments, the referendum is also generating discussion around the selection of the Okanagan College site and the cost.

Some residents want to know about debt that is being retired for other recreation projects.

“It’s an important question. I hear that a lot from people,” said director Juliette Cunningham.

Sports complex details can be found at

“We are regularly updating the website,” said Nelson.



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