Planning for a park, slated for the former Civic Arena lot, is delayed until October following council’s vote Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (Morning Star - file photo)

Park planning pause still in play: Vernon council

Motion to unpause planning of park for Civic Arena site defeated

The future of a new park in place of the former Civic Arena will have to wait until October after council defeated a new motion to get planning back on track.

Coun. Brian Quiring had previously proposed the park slated for the Civic Arena site be relocated to the Vernon Block during the Aug. 17 meeting — the same lot intended for the Greater Vernon Cultural Centre. But during the meeting Monday, Sept. 14, Quiring said he had reconsidered.

At the time, council voted in favour of pausing the planning of the park until Oct. 13.

Since his initial proposal, Quiring said he’s engaged with Harwood residents other stakeholders and determined the park planning should proceed in its original timeframe.

“We are doing the right thing by developing that as a park and allowing that contract to proceed,” Quiring said.

Coun. Kelly Fehr agreed.

“I spoke in favour of the park proceeding and didn’t vote against the motion (to pause planning), which I do regret,” he said. “I think we need to move forward with this project.”

But a few councillor colleagues were against the idea of once again rescinding a decision.

“I think we have to do a little better as a council,” said Coun. Kari Gares. “It’s a little wishy-washy. We pause and then rescind the pause 30 days later. We didn’t kibosh the project, we asked for a delay to see what the outcome would be for the cultural centre.”

City staff said they are working to complete the park’s design and were planning to initiate works this year, but even if work was to start immediately, despite the month-long delay, staff said they weren’t sure they could meet that deadline.

City council voted to defeat Quiring’s motion to unpause the park planning with only Mayor Victor Cumming, Fehr and Quiring in favour.

Councillors Scott Anderson, Akbal Mund, Dalvir Nahal and Gares voted in opposition.

“Council wants to delay this project?” Mayor Cumming asked following the vote.

“The reason is that (staff) is not sure they’ll be able to complete it by the end of the year,” Nahal responded, noting the delay won’t make much difference.

READ MORE: Vernon Cultural centre land sale negotiations in the works

READ MORE: ‘Come out with your hands up,’ Vernon RCMP heard shouting


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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