Farmers market not impressed with arena vote

Greater Vernon residents voted 4,265 to 3,331 to borrow $13.2 milllion to twin Kal Tire Place

The Vernon Farmers Market is disappointed with Saturday’s arena referendum.

Greater Vernon residents voted 4,265 to 3,331 to borrow $13.2 milllion to twin Kal Tire Place into the north parking lot where the market is located.

“This community reminds me of a tree with only one branch. All the other branches keep getting cut off,” said Ingrid Baron, VFM manager.

The VFM has stated it will remain in the parking lot during construction of the arena.

“It is quite a bit smaller than what was promised to us when we moved to the multi-use facility 15 years ago so we will be downsizing,” said Baron.

“It is not ideal, but we will make it work.”

A final design for the new ice sheet will now be developed over the next nine to to 12 months and it’s anticipated that the new arena will be completed by the fall of 2018.

“We, as well as all the user groups, should demand that the upper parking lot be built before any construction or even pre-load takes place,” said Baron.

A new parking lot will be built along 43rd Avenue.

Baron is looking forward to the end of construction and the opening of the ice sheet so the market can try and return to normalcy.

“To be honest, it will be better once construction is done because the construction area is bigger than the actual building,” she said.

“Also we believe they will quickly realize that something else will have to be done in terms of parking.”

The Vernon Farmers Market has a $3 million economic impact annually.