Vernon soaks up Rise fees

Vernon council decided Monday to write off $178,850 in fees linked to the Rise housing development...

City of Vernon coffers are taking a hit because of unpaid fees.

Council decided Monday to write off $178,850 in fees linked to the Rise housing development, which experienced financial challenges more than three years ago.

“We are in line with a number of other creditors and the chance of getting anything back is slim,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.

Of the $178,850, $128,312 is from the city’s former fast-track process, in which a company paid a fee to have its development application expedited.

“The fast-track fees didn’t cover all of the work done (by city staff),” said Sawatzky.

Coun. Patrick Nicol is disappointed with the situation.

“Legally, there is no way to reclaim this money. We’ve exhausted all legal avenues,” he said.

The lost fees will be absorbed within the city’s operating budget.

The 735-acre Rise was awarded protection from its lenders and creditors by the Supreme Court of B.C. in late 2008.

The city’s fast-track policy was implemented in the early 2000s and Sawatzky says it is no longer in use.