Parks agreement nearing finish line

Greater Vernon officials have authored a new relationship but the seal of approval is still needed.

The Ministry of Community Development has still not signed off on new bylaws to restructure how parks and recreational facilities operate.

“We’d like to have a meeting with the minister to make sure this is expedited,” said director Jim Garlick.

“We want to make sure we meet all of the requirements.”

Under the agreements, some parks will remain part of a collective that all jurisdictions fund while the majority will become the responsibility of Coldstream, Vernon and the electoral areas individually.

Facilities were taken out of the bylaws because they will now be administered by the City of Vernon, although Coldstream and the electoral areas will continue to provide operational funds.

Director Rob Sawatzky believes it’s critical for the ministry to approve the new structure.

“The first agreement was signed (by the parties) in November 2012 and they were supposed to take effect in January 2014. We’re well past the ideal time for that,” he said. “There’s lots of other work that needs to go on and this needs to be done.”

The goal is to have the matter resolved long before November’s civic elections when a new group of politicians could possibly revisit the matter if there is no ministry approval.

“When things are not solidified in a term, problems can arise,” said Garlick.


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