The revitalization of Polson Park is one of the many projects that come to council’s mind that could benefit from the Fortis BC Legacy Fund. (Debbie Gibson photo)

The revitalization of Polson Park is one of the many projects that come to council’s mind that could benefit from the Fortis BC Legacy Fund. (Debbie Gibson photo)

Vernon council considers use of $13M ‘legacy’

Fortis BC Legacy Fund to be discussed further in special meeting of council

Citizens of Vernon’s past opted into a deal with Fortis BC to fund a ‘legacy’ project for future citizens and now, today’s council will hold a special meeting to determine which project that $13 million go towards.

City staff recommend council spends the fund on a one-time legacy project at their discretion, such as funding development at Kin Race Track or Polson Park, for instance.

Coun. Kelly Fehr proposed administration garners public input through consultation to determine one legacy project to direct the funds to.

But, Fehr’s council colleagues noted the top-priority projects are already known to council and therefore a public consultation period would be a waste of staff resources and could cost more in the long run.

“We should already know the top priorities for our community,” Coun. Kari Gares said, noting with legacy projects such as the cultural centre and new pool already earmarked, “why take up valuable staff time?”

Coun. Brian Quiring said he’d like to see something tangible come of the $13-million fund rather than use it for, say, buying down the tax rate.

“That’s probably not in the spirit for what it (legacy fund) was originally created for,” he said.

Mayor Victor Cumming said instead of public consultation, he’d like to see council sit down in a special meeting to discuss specific goals for the use of the fund.

Fehr took his motion off the table in lieu of the mayor’s meeting, which should take place sometime in the next few months.

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Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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