Phone payments for parking put forward

The Downtown Vernon Association asked city council Monday to initiate mobile payment, or PayByPhone,

Vernon’s elected officials are torn on using modern technology to pay for parking.

The Downtown Vernon Association asked city council Monday to initiate mobile payment, or PayByPhone, for parking meters.

“I use this app religiously,” said Coun. Brian Quiring of his visits to other cities.

However, not everyone is impressed with the program.

“I find them frustrating to use. I’d rather plug the meter,” said Coun. Dalvir Nahal.

Motorists would be able to pay for parking via their cell phone if the city agrees to the initiative. It would cost 25 cents per transaction.

“For me, 25 cents is a small convenience fee compared to paying a parking ticket,” said Lara Konkin, executive director, in a letter.

The program would cost the city $5,100 over three years.

Council has not made a decision on the DVA request.

No money for band

There is no immediate financial assistance for the Vernon Community Band.

The band has asked for support to help cover its operating costs, but council has decided instead to send the band the city’s current grant policy and application forms.

The band uses space at Vernon Secondary School and the Vernon School District has increased rent to $30 an hour.

The band’s annual budget is about $10,000 a year, including conductor fees, music scores, insurance and the rent, which has climbed 150 per cent this year.

Heritage grants issued

Vernon council has approved several grants under the heritage restoration grant and heritage retention incentive grant programs.

Owners of properties listed in the Vernon Heritage Register are eligible for a grant to assist with restoring the exterior of a heritage building and for a grant to maintain and upgrade the heritage building and property, subject to other criteria.

“The grants approved are for five heritage properties with the retention grants ranging from $102 to $500, and a restoration grant for $3,000,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, the city’s communications officer.