Polson Park upgrades in the works

Regional district endorses improvements at Vernon park

Fast-tracked improvements at Polson Park have flushed out cash.

The Regional District of North Okanagan decided Wednesday to complete washroom renovations this year instead of the original plan, which called for some of the upgrades to wait until 2012.

“It’s long overdue,” said director Patrick Nicol of the work.

The 2011 budget included $80,000 for phase one, which is currently underway — new tiling and ceiling.

It was anticipated that phase two — replacing fixtures  and installing insulation and ceiling heaters — would occur next year.

However, it has been decided to proceed with the $47,504 in phase two upgrades now while the contractor for phase one is on site.

“There are significant economies of scale to doing it now,” said administrator Trafford Hall, adding that any work left to 2012 may have required some of this year’s upgrades being ripped up.

Director Wayne Lippert believes it makes sense to do the entire project at once.

“With renovations, once you start work, you see what’s going on and you determine you’re better off to do it now,” he said.

The expedited work also means the washrooms will be available for the entire season next year.

“An assessment of the existing fixtures has concluded that the ability to reuse them is compromised by their condition,” said David Sewell, finance general manage, in a written memo to the board.

“This in turn has suggested the inclusion of phase two renovations in 2011 to enable all of the work to be completed and the benefits of the extended operating season to occur in time for the spring of 2012.”

The $47,504 will come from operating reserves.