Lake access moves ahead

Lake access moves ahead

Vernon council gave staff the green light Monday to the development of two Okanagan Lake access sites in 2017 and eight in 2018.

Beach improvements are being expedited in Vernon.

Council gave staff the green light Monday to the development of two Okanagan Lake access sites in 2017 and eight in 2018.

“We’re playing catch-up,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham, who pushed her colleagues to proceed.

“We can find excuses as to why not to do this but I’m adamant that we do this. People want us to start moving on this. We have a growing population, people who don’t live close to the lake and tourists.”

Support also came from Coun. Dalvir Nahal.

“We have to think long-term and how it will impact young families and tourists,” she said.

Mayor Akbal Mund says the cost of site development must still be determined, but he backs the timeline.

“In the last three years, we’ve done zero,” he said.

Staff will bring back the estimated cost of development, annual maintenance and operation of the eight sites as part of the 2018 budget. A consultant will also be hired at about $40,000 to undertake detailed construction drawings of the eight sites.

Council also agreed Monday to create an additional parks planner position for two years at an estimated cost of $230,000. The money will come from reserves.