A total of 24 of Vernon’s 28 downtown murals are in need of significant repair, and the city has voted to spend up to $100,000 to fix them. (Tourism Vernon photo)

A total of 24 of Vernon’s 28 downtown murals are in need of significant repair, and the city has voted to spend up to $100,000 to fix them. (Tourism Vernon photo)

Vernon murals to get significant touch-ups

Council votes to spend $100,000 of reserve funds to fix up beloved downtown art work

Vernon’s beloved downtown murals need a major face lift.

Council voted unanimously at its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 14, to approve a staff request to authorize spending up to $100,000 for repair and maintenance of 24 of the 28 murals located on various buildings throughout the downtown core.

The money will come from the city’s mural maintenance reserve, which has $107,000.

“Administration has been working with the Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) to determine maintenance requirements for the downtown murals,” wrote newly hired city manager of building service Brian Story in a report to council.

Story, introduced to council at the meeting by operation services director James Rice, said based on a completed assessment, many of the murals require “significant repair and rehabilitation” that will need to be performed by the original artist or other qualified person to bring them back to their original condition.

“The DVA will be arranging to have the repairs completed in 2023 and 2024,” said Story.

The estimated cost of repairing 24 murals is approximately $91,000 with a 10 per cent contingency pot of $9,100 also included.

There has been no maintenance done on the murals in years, said Story.

The city and the DVA have each been contributing $5,000 yearly to the mural maintenance reserve.

“We’ve both been putting money in on an ongoing basis but the money hasn’t been used,” said Mayor Victor Cumming.

Coun. Teresa Durning said the murals are an “integral part of Vernon.”

“I’m wondering if we can come up with a better plan instead of doing it (repairs) one time,” she said.

Rice said the murals have held up well over the years but they have reached a stage where major work is required.

“But that’s too be expected,” said Rice, adding, however, that building in an annual inspection of the murals and keeping track of their condition could be done.

Coun. Brian Quiring, the city’s liaison to the DVA, will bring up the staff recommendation at a DVA meeting Tuesday, Nov. 15.

This story was updated Tuesday, Nov. 15, to correct James Rice’s title

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@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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