Vernon residents were able to bring propane fire pits down to Polson Park, between Jan. 25 - April 5 to enjoy with their family bubble, similar to those provided for residents at Predator Ridge. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon residents were able to bring propane fire pits down to Polson Park, between Jan. 25 - April 5 to enjoy with their family bubble, similar to those provided for residents at Predator Ridge. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Fire pits a flop in Vernon’s Polson Park

City spends estimated $2K on temporary program, few, if any take advantage; option closed now

Twenty staff hours and $2,000 essentially went up in smoke after few, if any, took advantage of a trial run allowing propane fire pits in Polson Park.

Residents were allowed to bring their personal fires to the oval in the park between Jan. 25 and April 5.

“There were no incidents of fire pit use noted nor concerns or complaints regarding propane fire pit use in the park,” City of Vernon staff said in a report.

Random daily spot checks were performed once or twice daily by Vernon bylaw, parks and fire staff.

On top of an estimated 20 hours of staff from the research stage to implementation and monitoring, the temporary program cost the city approximately $2,000 in legal fees and signage.

The trial was conducted as an option for families to get outside during the colder months while staying warm. It was also aimed at revitalizing Polson Park which has been a hotspot for homeless encampments and open drug use in recent years.

“More people we can get in there, the fewer problems we’re going to have with crime and things like that,” Coun. Scott Anderson said at a Jan. 11 council meeting, where he also suggested a skating rink be built.

READ MORE: Vernon fired up for propane pits in park

READ MORE: Tax shifts burden from Vernon businesses to homeowners


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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