Public access to Okanagan Lake will be expanded, while infrastructure is being upgraded.
Vernon city council held its first session Wednesday to hammer out the 2017 budget. Presently, the document includes a 3.6 per cent tax hike but that could change as budget talks continue Thursday.
“I’m going to be nickel and diming the budget as I usually do,” said Coun. Bob Spiers.
But some spending has been approved, including $50,000 for improvements to a lake access although a site has not been determined yet.
Staff was also directed to bring back a report early in the new year that outlines the cost for developing 10 lake accesses as well as nine lots on Lakeshore Road.
“I’d like us to be a little more aggressive with the lake accesses,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.
Other expenditures include a new playground at Alexis Park and new benches and picnic tables at various greenspaces. A bike skills park will be developed at Becker Park.
Council has also supported the $13 million capital budget that will renew roads, pipes and other infrastructure.
Among the projects that got the green light was rehabilitation of Kalamalka Lake Road from 14th Avenue to the Coldstream border. It will include a multi-use path.
Beyond infrastructure, the city’s 2017 budget calls for a $478,915 hike to the RCMP, largely because of two additional officers.
The proposed 3.6 per cent tax hike includes 1.7 per cent for operating expenses and 1.9 per cent for infrastructure.