Ian Cameron with Okanagan Valley High School Track and Field discusses benefits during the initial sports facility proposal.

Ian Cameron with Okanagan Valley High School Track and Field discusses benefits during the initial sports facility proposal.

Agency reviews sports complex proposal

Coldstream’s mayor is confident that a proposed sports complex will be sanctioned provincially.

Jim Garlick met Wednesday with Agricultural Land Commission officials who toured the 10 acres next to Okanagan College targeted for a $7.8 million running track, sports field and other amenities.

“I’m always optimistic,” said Garlick of the process.

“They didn’t say they wouldn’t support this. They said they will get back to us.”

Much of the discussion centred around the need to use the site, which is in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

“They have concerns about it and they want a case made for putting a facility there. We said there is existing infrastructure there,” said Garlick of water, sewer and the college which would benefit a  complex.

Garlick also pointed out that by using this location, it would prevent further erosion of other agricultural land in Greater Vernon for a similar use.

Of the 10 acres, five acres would be comprised of a running track and buildings, while a covenant would be placed on the remaining five acres so it is undeveloped and can only be used for a grass playing field. That means the five acres could be used for agricultural production in the future if required.

“It would keep space next to it (track) not built on and they liked that,” said Garlick of the ALC.

It was also suggested that the complex could support agriculture by perhaps hosting a farmer’s market.

Garlick said the presence of washrooms and other facilities at the sports complex could make a market viable.

There is no timeline for the ALC to rule on the application for non-farm use activities.

“They may not make a decision right away,” said Garlick.

“They may come back and see how they can work with us.”

Garlick believes a referendum could still be held in Greater Vernon this November to borrow $7.8 million for construction of the sports complex.