There is a proposal to replace Civic Arena as an ice sheet in the Greater Vernon area.

There is a proposal to replace Civic Arena as an ice sheet in the Greater Vernon area.

Differences of opinion arise over arena process

Members of Vernon ccouncil voted 4-2 Tuesday to support twinning of Kal Tire Place

Vernon officials back plans for a new ice sheet but it’s not a ringing endorsement.

Council voted 4-2 Tuesday to support twinning of Kal Tire Place (Coun. Brian Quiring declared a conflict because his architectural firm is involved in the project).

“I’ve always been a sports advocate and amenities bring families to the community and there’s an overall benefit for the community,” said Mayor Akbal Mund.

Mund also insists there’s a need to twin Kal Tire Place because Civic Arena has outlived its use as an ice sheet.

Besides Mund, Councillors Catherine Lord, Juliette Cunningham and Dalvir Nahal voted for twinning of the multi-use facility.

However, Nahal admits she raised her hand in favour more to get the process moving towards a borrowing referendum.

“It’s not about twinning of the facility. It’s about what the public wants,” she said.

“I won’t be a huge champion but if this is what the community wants, I support that.”

Councillors Scott Anderson and Bob Spiers voted against supporting a twin ice sheet, but they say that was done not to influence voters.

“I won’t take a position. The citizens of Vernon should take a position,” said Anderson. “I’ll endorse what the public endorses.”

Spiers says the twinning of Kal Tire Place should  go to referendum.

“When I get the full details of the estimated cost of this project and how much money will be borrowed, then I will be in a position to decide on how I will vote,” he said.

“This is a great project that I personally support but it is subject to the final dollar amount required to be put up by the property taxpayers.”

It’s not known when a referendum will be held in Greater Vernon as the Regional District of North Okanagan is waiting for the provincial government to sign off on the legislative requirements for a vote.