It’s not often that the City of Vernon has a financial grant turned back in.
Council recently agreed to give the Okanagan Quality of Life Society $2,000 for a new pontoon boat, but the society has now indicated that the money has been raised and the grant is not needed.
“That’s a vigorous, successful group,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.
Tourism booth ripped down
A fixture at the entrance to Vernon will disappear.
Council has agreed to spend $20,000 to demolish the north tourist booth by Swan Lake.
“Demolition will proceed as time, resources and weather permit,” said Kevin Bertles, director of financial services.
The city is centralizing visitor information services in a building next to Civic Arena.
Vernon council members have endorsed the draft economic development strategic action plan.
However, there is a concern that resources aren’t sufficient to implement the strategy.
“We say we’re open for business but is there enough to deliver business?” said Coun. Patrick Nicol.
Kevin Poole, economic development manager, says his department works within a budget and government and industry partners are also sought.
“We look to our federal and provincial counterparts to fund some of these initiatives and we also talk to the regional district,” he said.
Highway access promoted
The City of Vernon wants assurances that motorists can access businesses along the highway.
The Best Western Vernon Lodge recently expressed concern that the Ministry of Transportation installed a median on 32nd Street and that prevents left-turn lanes into its parking lot.
Mayor Rob Sawatzky says he has raised the issue with MLA Eric Foster and there is a need for left-turn signals at intersections so visitors can reach businesses easily.
“He has promised to assist with action. It’s not something we’re going to let go of,” said Sawatzky.