The Downtown Vernon Association has weighed in with its suggestions on a proposed overdose prevention site for Vernon. (Morning Star - file photo)

Downtown Vernon offers suggestions on overdose prevention site

The DVA agrees with other stakeholders proposed facility should be near Vernon Jubilee Hospital

The Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) is joining those who wish to inform Interior Health that a proposed overdose prevention site (OPS) in Vernon does not belong downtown.

The DVA, along with other community stakeholders, recently had the opportunity to provide feedback, input suggestions and to directly communicate its Business Improvement Area member (BIA) concerns to Interior Health (IHA) regarding the implementation of an overdose prevention site in Vernon.

The DVA summarized its suggestions and concerns to IHA with a request that the following be genuinely considered during the selection of a third-party service provider and the operation of an OPS:

RELATED: Vernon politicians not all happy about possible OD prevention site

1. That the OPS site not be located within the BIAs. That this medical service is best provided and situated within or near the Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

“Our understanding of the opioid crisis is that this crisis is a medical crisis, and as such, the most logical location for medical service to address the crisis is at or near a medical facility,” said Susan Lehman, DVA executive director. “The hospital is located within a 10-minute walk of the edge of Vernon’s secondary BIA, where current emergency shelter services currently exist;

2. That should the OPS site be located within the BIAs, that there is a consistent and regular feedback mechanism in place for neighbouring businesses and properties to communicate with the service provider;

3. That the service provider be held to a three-to-six month contract performance review to assure the community that the site is being operated in accordance with the original proposed operational standards;

4. That if additional security measures are required for the safety and security of the surrounding businesses or public spaces, that appropriate measures are immediately taken and that the cost of these measures be that of either IHA or the service provider.

“While the limited studies have not shown an increase in crime statistics (as noted at the May 13 regular Vernon council meeting), we do anticipate that there will be an increase in street-level disorder around a drug-use facility,” said Lehman. “An increase in street-level disorder is quite simply an unacceptable demand to be placed on a business community, at this time, when most businesses and property owners are already doing their utmost best to co-exist within the social constructs that make up a downtown business community.”

RELATED: Vernon chamber members do not want overdose prevention site downtown

Lehman said the DVA is very proud of the level of compassion that most of its business community consistently demonstrates, and has throughout the DVA’s 52 years, to lesser-advantaged and often marginalized groups in Vernon.

“Many of our members donate or provide resources through time, money, stewardship, and/or resources and have a sincere interest in improving the health of our community and their neighbours,” she said. “Our suggestions to IHA are not made lightly nor without tremendous compassion and concern for Vernon’s citizens at-risk. The DVA recognizes that current social issues, including the opioid crisis, can be difficult subjects to discuss. However, we remain committed to working with our community stakeholders in continued conversation, respect of each others ideas or suggestions, and continued advocacy on behalf of DVA members.”

The DVA represents more than 600 commercial property owners and business owners within the Business Improvement Areas of Vernon (downtown) and all are within a 50+ block radius.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Logging truck spill cleared east of Lumby

Accident happened between McInnes Road and Rawlings Lake Road

Community comes together for Easter Seals Camp Winfield

On June 15, the community of Lake Country came out to help raise funds for Easter Seals Camp Winfield

PHOTOS: Vernon Community Music School hosts “Hootenanny Hoedown”

The music school hosted their annual year-end country fair on June 7

Dancing with Shuswap Stars attracts Rust Valley Restorers

TV show stars join quest to hone some fancy footwork

Armstrong gathering for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Memorial Park gathering on June 22 will honour women with speakers and roundtable discussions

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

‘I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400,’ said an Okanagan care aide

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Emerging artists given chance at Shuswap’s Roots Blues Festival

Chosen participants can perform two 40-minute sets on the Wednesday or Thursday night, and more.

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Officials remain optimistic in the face of closure of Shuswap’s Waterway Houseboats

Sicamous mayor and chamber of commerce concerned for staff who lost jobs

A Kelowna medical research company needs adults with autism spectrum disorder for a study

Three-hundred-fifty patients worldwide will participate in the study

Most Read