Municipalities debate Vernon Search And Rescue request

Most in favour of group’s $3.5 million request through alternate approval process

The City of Vernon has backed Vernon Search and Rescue’s request for funds for a new facility through the alternate approval process, so long as all Regional District of North Okanagan municipalities take part.

The city gave unanimous support to VSAR’s request to borrow $3.5 million to facilitate the cost of buying real property to construct a new building to serve the strictly volunteer unit.

“We should stipulate as long as everybody is taking part in it,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

VSAR had approached RDNO about borrowing the money through the alternate approval process, meaning 10 per cent of the electorate in the regional district would have to vote against the request in order for it to fail.

The Village of Lumby has some concerns about the request.

“Our challenge was, we felt like search and rescue asked for the Cadillac version (of a new facility),” said Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton.

“Our concern is that perhaps there are other options that need to be explored before spending $3.5 million. We’d like there to be more homework done before approving the request. We are a rural community and we are very, very supportive of VSAR, but there are many other options that need to be discussed.”

RELATED: Search and rescue seeks building funds

The District of Coldstream has some council members that favour the alternative approval process, some prefer a referendum process given that the local general election will be held in October and cost savings could potentially be realized by running the referendum at the same time as the election.

Coldstream also had questions regarding the boundaries of the service and how it will be funded; would the new building be owned by the Vernon Search and Rescue Society or would it be owned by the Regional District of North Okanagan and be leased to the society?

The City of Armstrong is unanimous in its support of the request.

“When you think of what they do, how they’re 100 per cent volunteer, you really have to support a quality organization like this,” said Mayor Chris Pieper. “They’ve built themselves up over the years and have a great service for the whole North Okanagan.”

Municipalities have expressed concerns about finding cheaper property outside of Greater Vernon, but search and rescue has said it’s looking for a central location for its members with easy highway access.

The Township of Spallumcheen unanimously supported the request with the stipulation that the final purchase of land is the best economical deal.

The City of Enderby and Electoral Area Advisory Committees are 100 per cent in support of the request.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vehicle accident closes highway near Enderby

Highway 97A is expected to reopen at 10 a.m.

Okanagan air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Kelowna - Avoid strenuous exercise outside today

Vipers’ sale rumours heat up

Ferner goes into camp without a contract

More wildfires discovered near Lumby, Cherryville

Canadian Armed Troops in Okanagan, Mabel Creek blaze creeps towards lake

Two accidents past Cherryville

Highway 6 reduced to single-lane alternating traffic

Armed Troops in Okanagan to help firefighters

Canadian Armed Forces arrived in Vernon Thursday, being deployed to West Kelowna fire

Apple Triathalon cancelled in Kelowna due to smoke

The event has been cancelled for Saturday

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Evacuation alert issued due to wildfire near Princeton

The RDOS has issued alerts for properties in the electoral areas

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Most Read