Vernon residents, and politicians, are seeing an influx of rats around town.
There have been numerous reports of the long-tailed rodents in homes and businesses throughout the city.
And even City Hall has had a few of the critters to deal with.
“It’s taken care of, we’ve set some traps,” said Shirley Koenig, Vernon’s director of operations.
But the situation has left at least one local leader wondering if rats are taking over town.
“Are we having an issue with rats? And how are we dealing with it?” said Coun. Dalvir Nahal.
Those experiencing rat problems can call an exterminator to remove the rodents.
Affordable housing project in the works
Twelve new units of affordable housing are planned for Pleasant Valley Road.
The Vernon & District Community Land Trust Society is working on a rental housing project at 4005 Pleasant Valley Rd.
BC Housing Management Commission is working with community partners and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to create more affordable housing on a vacant city lot.
The project, on a .99 acre lot, will include three buildings, each containing four ground-dwellings
New sweeper ready to roll
When the wrath of winter melts away, Vernon is often left with a lot of dirt to cleanup. And that job can stir up a substantial amount of dust, causing air pollution.
But a new vacuum street sweeper coming on board could make the cleanup, and substantial airborne particles, a lot easier.
The city has purchased a $350,000 sweeper, which also carries a $157,424 annual operation, maintenance and replacement cost. The item is funded from the Fortis BC Legacy Reserve.
Federation funds fought
Vernon is not prepared to pay skyrocketing dues for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
The 2020-2021 FCM membership invoice is for $8,549 (it was $6,807 last year), which the FCM calls a “modest” increase.
“Urban municipalities including the City of Vernon normally operate under considerable budget constraint and a 27 per cent increase year over year is not a ‘modest revision,’” said Will Pearce, Vernon’s chief administrative officer.
The invoice also shows a 3.5 per cent annual increase for future years.
“If this was a typical two to three per cent increase we would have moved forward,” said Pearce.