Greater Vernon recreational amenities are being transformed by an infusion of cash.
The provincial government unveiled $546,674 for projects at Kin and Paddlewheel parks, the Vernon Recreation Complex and the Lakers clubhouse Tuesday.
“These kinds of dollars enable the community to jump ahead,” said Patrick Nicol, Regional District of North Okanagan chairperson.
“This is real community building. This is a practical way of improving these areas.”
Of the $546,674, $400,000 will go to upgrades of the washrooms at Kin and Paddlewheel parks, and specifically making the buildings wheelchair accessible.
There will also be interior and exterior painting and carpentry and mechanical and electrical work.
Another $74,274 will go towards the recreation complex — an expanded fitness centre, a playground and a new chair lift for the pool.
The remaining $74,500 will assist the City of Vernon in converting the former Lakers Golf clubhouse into a community recreation centre.
“Arts, culture and recreation add to the fabric of a community,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA, of why provincial government grants are important.
“Young families moving into a community want to make sure these facilities exist.”
RDNO has committed $189,000 towards the washrooms at Kin and Paddlewheel parks and $18,068 for the upgrades at the recreation complex. The city has also budgeted money towards Lakers.
But while local taxpayers are doing their part, Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky insists that none of the projects would proceed without provincial help.
“It would have been extremely difficult but that’s why we pay taxes,” said Sawatzky referring to senior government’s source of revenue being local residents.
“We like to see some of it come back to the community.”