Society seeks grandstand input

The Okanagan Equestrian Society will hold an input/information session Saturday at 1 p.m.

Vernon residents are being asked to provide input on the future of Vernon’s Kin Race Track.

The Okanagan Equestrian Society will hold an input/information session Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 3013 30th St.

“We want to discuss options around the replacement of the grandstand at Kin Race Track,” said Ed Wolley, society president.

The grandstand was destroyed by a suspicious fire this summer and the insurance proceeds will go to the City of Vernon, which owns the property.

“The society has had some preliminary discussions with representatives of the city with regards to how the insurance proceeds will be used but no formal position has been put forward on the part of the society at this point,” said Woolley.

“The society will present a number of different options at the meeting for the public’s consideration and input.  Additional suggestions would be welcomed from the floor.”

The society has been pursuing legal action against the city and the Regional District of North Okanagan to use the property since a 2010 eviction.

RDNO, which has turned over all property ownership to the city, has developed a recreational master plan for the site that does not include horse racing.

City officials insist that previous agreements dictate that the yare only responsible for maintaining the track surface and not the grandstand.

“The administration has recommended to the equestrian society, on a number of occasions, that the equestrian society develop a sound business plan for the future of equestrian racing in the Vernon area,” said Will Pearce, the city’s chief administrative officer.

“Such a business plan may assist in determining the viability of racing, future of all necessary support structures including paddocks, barns, equestrian care areas, safe track rails, grandstand, public washrooms, on and off track betting areas, public refreshment areas, etc. A sound business plan could provide important context for the grandstand discussion and any expenditure of local taxpayers’ money.”