Voter turnout key for water referendum

Voter apathy is a concern leading up to the Nov. 15 Greater Vernon water utility borrowing referendum

Voter apathy is a concern leading up to the Nov. 15 Greater Vernon water utility borrowing referendum for $70 million in upgrades.

Few people came out to three recent information sessions regarding the costly water plan

“The number of people attending was abysmal,” said Coldstream Coun. Gyula Kiss, who counted only eight people at each of the first two and 32 at the latest.

There is one more opportunity for the public to educate themselves on the plan prior to the vote. The Regional District of North Okanagan office (9848 Aberdeen Rd.) will host an input session Oct. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Kiss also notes that Interior Health representative Gordon Moseley has stated that if the vote fails upgrades won’t necessarily be forced.

“He actually stated at the meeting that if the vote is no then we will have to sit down and review.”

Meadows moving along

Construction continues in a development aimed at supporting an aging population.

Once a lone lodge, Coldstream Meadows has grown to include a variety of housing options and amenities.

The 23-acre property now includes The Terraces, five six-plexes, which are now being added to with seven four-plexes.

Plans are also underway to construct an additional 58-unit building featuring a 10-metre lap pool, sauna and hydro therapy, among others.

“In the spring of 2016 is when we’re going to start The Manor,” said Rob Borden, who owns Coldstream Meadows with his parents Elaine and Jack Borden.

But before that undertaking, another amenity will be added.

“After this we are building a 42-seat restaurant called The Clubhouse,” said Rob.

Unlike the existing rental units, the latest construction are units for sale which provide aging adults an opportunity to age in place.

“The kicker with us is we’ve got all the services if and when you need them,” said Rob, noting services such as housekeeping, meals, etc.

The units are already sold out.

“We’ve got a wait list of about a dozen people right now,” said Rob.

Coldstream Meadows is approved for 270 units.

Once The Terraces are built there will be 127.

Farm Friends

Along with the harvest produced, gardening is proving to be a therapeutic activity for individuals affected with mental illness to bond with family.

The Mental Illness Family Support Centre planted the idea of Farm Friends in 2011. With a half-acre site at Patchwork Farms at Okanagan College, Farm Friends officially began to grow this summer.

“This program has been developed for individuals and families affected by mental illness,” said Kate Stein with the centre.

“This first season we’ve seen a grandmother and granddaughter participate and a father and a daughter.”

Along with gardening hours, educational sessions and community events were held.

“We’re continuing to build our community awareness and partnerships,” said Stein.

“We’re also looking to increase accessibility of our programs.”