An information campaign is being launched prior to the April 2013 referendum on a sports complex in Greater Vernon.

An information campaign is being launched prior to the April 2013 referendum on a sports complex in Greater Vernon.

Sales pitch being developed for sports complex referendum

Regional district approves funding for communications campaign

A referendum on a proposed Greater Vernon sports complex is months away, but preparations have begun.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board agreed Wednesday to budget $15,000 this year for a public communications process leading up to an April 6, 2013 borrowing referendum. Directors have also pre-approved $2,500 for next year.

“They want to start developing information,” said Tannis Nelson, community development co-ordinator, of the referendum steering committee.

During the referendum, Greater Vernon residents will be asked to borrow $8.5 million to construct a track and multi-use field at Okanagan College.

The communications campaign will include brochures and displays at community events.

There will also be a $10,000 3-D model of the proposed facility.

“It will have a sense of scale. It will show what the site looks like during the day or at night,” said Keith Pinkoski, parks planner.

Patrick Nicol, RDNO chairperson, supports providing residents with details as soon as possible and insists plans for a sports complex must be transparent.

“This is a pretty critical moment in Greater Vernon’s history,” he said.

“We want to give the public all of the information they need to make a decision. The issue deserves full discussion by the public.”

If approved, the $8.5 million would be borrowed over 20 years and the average cost per household could be between $17 and $20 a year.