The City of Vernon has released its preliminary design plan for a proposed Hurlburt Park on the site of the former Camp Hurlburt on the east shore of Okanagan Lake. (City of Vernon photo)

City unveils Hurlburt Park plan

Park proposed for site of former Camp Hurlburt on Okanagan Lake

For more than 80 years, Camp Hurlburt on the eastern shores of Okanagan Lake was filled with laughter and smiles of thousands of summer campers.

Closed since 2013, then sold in 2015 by Trinity United Church to the Regional District of North Okanagan, the City of Vernon hopes to bring back the smiles and laughter for all ages with the creation of Hurlburt Park on the camp site.

The preliminary design for the property at 9657 Eastside Road was unveiled to Vernon council Monday.

“The (camp) structures and some dangerous trees were removed prior to transfer to the city,” said parks planner Susan Abbott.

The park area is one hectare with 311 metres of west-facing waterfront. The main attractions of the park are a level, large-pebble beach; great opportunities for swimming which includes an existing, but unlicensed dock and swimming platform; some concrete pads, cabin footings and a large stone amphitheatre that remains intact, as does the concrete foundation, stairs, partial basement and chimney base of the dining hall. That’s been fenced in by RDNO.

“The primary goals for the improvements to Hurlburt Park are safety and accessibility,” said Abbott.

With that in mind, the preliminary design includes updating and installing features like a driveway and 31-space parking lot; traffic calming measures and lighting upgrades at the Eastside Road entrance; new chain link fence; power outlet and day parking for mobile vendors and/or events and permanent vault toilet and garbage receptacles.

The city would add buoys in the lake to define the swimming area; complete an assessment of all concrete foundations, the existing dock and swimming platform and remove the crumbling amphitheatre, chimney base and hearth of the old dining hall.

The total cost estimate for the park is $719,000, including a 30 per cent contingency. The 2018 budget allocation for Hurlburt Park improvements is $577,000 and $142,000 from the lake accesses budget.

“Operations estimate the cost to maintain Hurlburt Park between mid-April and the end of September is $47,400,” said Abbott.

Information on the preliminary design would be presented to the public through an open house on Wednesday, March 7, and be available on Engage Vernon (engagevernon.ca) to provide residents the opportunity to comment between now and March 13.

Administration would report the results of the public participation process to council at the March 26 regular meeting and, if necessary, revise the plan accordingly.

Staff is working towards tendering this project in late spring and construction in summer 2018.

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