Vernon ratifies changes to parks service

City joins Coldstream and electoral areas in memorandum of understanding

Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky welcomes a memorandum of understanding that restructures parks services.

Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky welcomes a memorandum of understanding that restructures parks services.

The final hurdle has been overcome.

A majority of Vernon council ratified a memorandum of understanding Monday with Coldstream and the electoral areas that will restructure the parks service.

“The agreement has warts and flaws but we’re looking for something to move forward with,” said Rob Sawatzky, Vernon mayor, of the need for compromises to bring years of fighting to an end.

The new structure will see some parks remain regional in scope while others will become the responsibility of individual jurisdictions.

Opposition came from Coun. Bob Spiers.

“Why do we have to transfer (ownership of) vast tracts of land?” said Spiers, adding that ownership of parks could have remained as is while contracts allowed other jurisdictions to use them.

Vernon will turn ownership of Kal Beach over to the regional district while the city gets 10 regional district lots on Lakeshore Road.

Look for more in Wednesday’s Morning Star.