Politicians refuse to endorse launch study

A contentious review of Greater Vernon’s boat launches isn’t dropping anchor.

A contentious review of Greater Vernon’s boat launches isn’t dropping anchor.

Instead of adopting the study into boat launches on Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes, the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee only received the report for information purposes Thursday.

“To adopt it would be a mistake,” said Coldstream director Jim Garlick, adding that a number of concerns surrounding public boat launches were not addressed.

Garlick wants the document to be considered further once a new parks and recreation general manager is hired.

“It would be great for a new employee to take a hold of it and come up with something better,” he said.

The consultant’s study recommends upgrades to the existing motorized boat launch at Paddlewheel Park on Okanagan Lake as well as at other locations on the lake.

A primary focus on Okanagan Lake and not Kalamalka Lake has been a concern for the City of Vernon.

“We also don’t just have Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes. We have boaters on Swan Lake,” said Wayne Lippert, GVAC chairperson and a Vernon director.

The District of Coldstream has stated that the study only surveyed boaters and not other user groups like swimmers and paddlers.

Concerns about the study have also come from other jurisdictions.

“The terms of reference weren’t tight enough and the contractor didn’t have clarity moving forward,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.

Simply receiving the study was unanimous among GVAC members  but Vernon director Patrick Nicol suggests the entire issue may lack direction.

“If we don’t adopt it, it will lay there in the wind. We’ll keep going around in a circle,” he said.

Staff states there may be some small, non-monetary items that can proceed at launches, but any large projects that include significant funding will require further scrutiny.

“We won’t be doing anything or spending any money without coming to the board first,” said Trafford Hall, Regional District of North Okanagan administrator.