Major decision proceeds for sports track

Regional District of North Okanagan politicians and staff will meet Tuesday to select a project manager

A major hurdle will be taken towards a new running track in Greater Vernon.

Regional District of North Okanagan politicians and staff will meet Tuesday to select a project manager for development of the sports complex next to Okanagan College.

“The public deserves to see some action,” said director Mike Macnabb referring to the successful April referendum to borrow up to $7.5 million for the facility, which will include a track and sports fields.

Director Bob Fleming supports having a project manager to oversee contractors and day-to-day construction activity.

“The people on (RDNO) staff have not built a track before and with any project of that size, you need a management company overseeing the process,” he said.

Project managers were used for the Performing Arts Centre, Kal Tire Place and Vernon’s library.

A shortlist of four to five companies will be considered Tuesday.

The site is in the Agricultural Land Reserve and the terms of the Agricultural Land Commission agreeing to a non-farm use include construction being completed by November 2014.

The goal is to begin excavation and pre-load the site with gravel this fall so actual construction of the track and fields can begin next spring.

It’s expected directors will be given an update Tuesday on the Department of National Defence surveying the site for Second World War training mortars. An archeological study is also needed.

By selecting a project manager, Fleming wants to send a message to residents that the facility is moving ahead.

“We want to put to bed some of the issues people continue to snipe at like the location,” he said