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New recreation fee agreement reached in Greater Vernon

City, Coldstream, regional district electoral areas happy with new three-year deal
The City of Vernon, District of Coldstream and regional district electoral Areas B and C have announced consensus on a new fees for service recreation agreement. (City of Vernon - photo)

It’s an early Christmas present for recreation users in Greater Vernon.

The City of Vernon, District of Coldstream, and Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) Electoral Areas B and C announced a fee for service for recreation services agreement Friday afternoon, Dec. 1.

The three-year deal starts Jan. 1, 2024, with an opportunity included to negotiate future terms.

Under the agreement, Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C will contribute to the operational funding for recreation services within the City of Vernon, as well as for Lavington Pool.

This agreement will ensure residents of Coldstream and Areas B and C receive the same user rates as the residents of Vernon, and will continue to have equal access to recreation facilities, services and early program registration.

“It is a pleasure to continue to share the cost for, and provisions of, recreation services in Greater Vernon,” said Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming.

“This District of Coldstream is pleased to sign as a party to this agreement, after some long hard-fought negotiations,” said Coldstream Mayor Ruth Hoyte. “Not only does this agreement provide a fee for service, but access for our residents. It also further defines the relationship between the parties. For sure, we can state that we can find common ground which is mutually beneficial for all.”

The 2024 base funding for operating Vernon Recreation Services is $4,247,665. Under the agreement the jurisdictions would contribute the following amounts:

Coldstream: $722,103;

Area B: $369,547;

Area C: $365,299.

Area B director Bob Fleming is happy to have the deal concluded.

“I believe it is good for the residents of Electoral Area B, as well as for all the other residents of Greater Vernon,” he said.

Amanda Shatzko, director for Area C, said she’s proud to be able provide equal access and opportunity to recreation.

“Having grown up in Greater Vernon and participated in athletics my whole life, I am aware of the importance of recreation for everyone,” said Shatzko.

Vernon Recreation Services will be moving to a two-tiered pricing model on Jan. 1, 2024, and the city is inviting any communities who may be interested in participating in recreation services at the same level as Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C to establish a ‘fee for service’ agreement.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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