Once the New Delhi building at 29th Street and 30th Avenue is demolished

Once the New Delhi building at 29th Street and 30th Avenue is demolished

Gravel parking lot gets rocky reception from Vernon council

Pavement will be installed once the New Delhi building is demolished

Gravel isn’t good enough for main street.

Vernon council has overruled a staff recommendation that a parking lot be gravel once the New Delhi building is knocked down at 30th Avenue and 29th Street.

“It’s a prime corner and it will look brutal as a gravel lot,” said Coun. Brian Quiring.

Council’s decision will take the cost of parking lot development from $270,000 to $419,000, which will include pavement, curb and landscaping.

Staff had recommended that the lot be gravel because about half of the property will be required for the proposed 25th Avenue extension, possibly within the next decade.

There was a concern about the perception of investing in pavement and landscaping and then ripping it out.

“It could look like a bad use of taxpayers’ money,” said Kevin Bertles, financial services director.

However, there was strong support amongst council members for high standards on the site.

“There are great things happening downtown. There’s the library, Tolko and Nixon Wenger (buildings),” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

“It looks good and then they hit an ugly parking lot.”

Quiring also pointed out that grading a gravel lot regularly is expensive and gravel will have to be cleaned off of adjacent roads.

“Over 10 years, we’re actually better off doing the project,” he said, adding that developers can’t have gravel lots and the city must set the standard.

Coun. Bob Spiers opposed paving the lot.

“I’ll go with gravel,” he said.

The building should be demolished in February or March and the parking lot will be installed in March or April.