Little debate over purchasing park land

Resident wants property bought next to BX Ranch Park

Pressure to expand a local park isn’t creating a lot of debate among Vernon politicians.

There were no questions or comments after resident Randy Schellenberg made a pitch to city council Tuesday for the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee to buy 166 acres next to BX Ranch Park.

In an interview after the meeting, Coun. Bob Spiers insisted the issue is not being ignored.

“It will be looked at in relation to all other capital requests,” said Spiers, who is a GVAC director.

Any discussion, though, is on hold until restructuring of the regional parks and recreation function is completed.

Schellenberg says the additional land would be ideal and conforms to a 2004 parks and recreation master plan.

“In Vernon, there are very few considerably sized parks,” he said.

“This is an opportunity to make it into a destination park.”

While the site is outside of Vernon boundaries, Schellenberg says the city would benefit from increased recreational opportunities for residents and tourists.

“The public should decide what the use should be,” he said when asked of potential activities there.

The 166 acres would be five times larger than Polson Park.

“If we don’t do anything, we will see more parcels carved off (for residential) until there is nothing left,” said Schellenberg.

“If we act now and establish this park, our grandchildren will thank us.”

The price tag for the property is $3.2 million.