Facility options reviewed

Representatives from the city, Coldstream and the electoral areas met again Thursday

It’s appears like control over recreational amenities could be left in Vernon’s hands.

Representatives from the city, Coldstream and the electoral areas met again Thursday. Two models for managing recreational facilities dominated discussions — Vernon taking on duties through a contract with the regional district or the city being wholly responsible for all administrative decisions.

“It’s common practise that a larger community owns and operates recreation facilities,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.

Either model would still see Coldstream and the electoral areas provide funds to access the services, but if Vernon is left completely in charge of the facilities, the other jurisdictions may not have a governance role.

“We need some more answers. We are just looking at an initial concept,” said Jim Garlick, Coldstream director.

One model that could be off the table is management directly shifting to the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Vernon officials have concerns with the concept.

“The facilities are in Vernon and under title ownership of Vernon,” said Rob Sawatzky, a city director.

“It would be a difficult political sell to turn over operations to another jurisdiction and there would be unknowns with turning it over to an organization that has never done it before. Unknowns can create risks.”

The city currently operates the facilities under a contract with RDNO, which provides administration. Sawatzky believes there isn’t a significant leap from that situation to the city making the decisions.

“We want to be responsive to the elected officials and the public,” he said.

The goal is to have all parties agree to a direction by June, but Macnabb isn’t sure if that’s possible.

“This could drag into July and we still haven’t determined if arts and culture will be part of this process,” he said.