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Vernon creates Extreme Wildfire Activity reserve fund

$200K put into reserve from uncommitted funds and will only be spent if needed
The City of Vernon has agreed to create an Extreme Wildfire Activity reserve and will put $200,000 towards it from unexpended uncommitted funds from 2020 and 2021. (Morning Star - file photo)

City of Vernon staff has been recommending to council to create a reserve fund for extreme wildfire activity.

Thanks to unspent dollars from 2021 and 2020, the city has done just that.

The city has created an Extreme Wildfire reserve and will commit $200,000 to it from nearly $1.6 million in unexpended uncommitted balances from the past two years.

“This will be specifically for future wildfire events that will only be spent if needed,” said the city’s director of financial services, Deb Law, at the regular meeting of council Monday, March 28.

Council approved unanimously Law’s recommendations to transfer nearly $51,000 from the unexpended balance to the city’s Abandoned Camp reserve to help clean up abandoned homeless camps; put up to $60,000 in reserve for the purchase of an exhaust system for Fire Station No. 3 at Predator Ridge which it has never had since it was built; and approved the expenditure of $200,000 to purchase a facility to accommodate parks staff and reduce congestion in the operations yard.

Coun. Brian Quiring made a pair of requests.

One was to add $20,000 to the tab to fund security cameras for the Downtown Vernon Association, which was passed unanimously. But his other motion, of putting $20,000 into a reserve to clean up garbage strewn in the ditch along Eastside Road in Okanagan Landing was met with resistance, particularly from Coun. Akbal Mund.

“If we say yes to this for one road, you’re kidding yourself if you think we’re not going to get criticism from other people wondering why their road doesn’t get cleaned up,” said Mund.

Coun. Teresa Durning originally seconded Quiring’s request but agreed with Mund’s point and removed her seconding of the motion which was then defeated with no other seconder.

There would be just under $700,000 left from the unexpended uncommitted balance after council agreed to the above recommendations.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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