They initiated it, they fought for it and now they are the first to sign it.
With the long-awaited restructuring of parks coming into play, Coldstream is the first partner to ratify the memorandum of understanding for a new parks service.
The agreement will see care and control of local parks be handed over to the area jurisdiction. For example, Coldstream will regain the Kalavista boat launch, Middleton Mountain Park and Lavington Park, which were previously managed by the Regional District of North Okanagan and maintained by Vernon under contract.
Meanwhile some larger parks, such as Kal Beach, will become sub-regional parks, under RDNO.
“It makes a lot more sense,” said Mayor Jim Garlick, who initiated the debate back in 2009 following frustrations over the current parks model. “We’ll be better in the end.”
Coun. Pat Cochrane adds: “It’s not the agreement I thought we’d end up with but I’m impressed with what we did end up with.”
With the management of its local parks, also comes some funds. Sixty per cent of existing development cost charges will be distributed with 16.36 per cent going to Coldstream. There is also $1 million from existing operating reserves to be distributed. Coldstream will receive $163,600.
Once ratified by Vernon, Coldstream, Area B and Area C, a bylaw will be brought before the RDNO board in the new year.
The service review committee will continue to develop separate solutions for a major facilities service as well as an arts, culture and youth service.