Tourists booths

Resident upset with the City of Vernon's relocation of the visitor information centre

I have lived and been a taxpayer in Vernon for more than 40 years and have witnessed all of the stupidity and waste our taxpayers’ dollars over the years.

But this last bit of stupidity/insanity is beyond belief. I am referring to the closure of the two tourist booths that serve the visitors well, with better than average access off the highway both north and south of town.

At peak tourist season, we have a problem with Highway 97 running through town. There are only two light-activated, left-turn lanes in all of that stretch from the army camp to 48th Avenue, and yet city hall thinks there will be no problem turning left to this new, expensive facility.

If and when this new facility is operational without a left-turn lane from the north and when a death or bodily injury occurs to either a much-wanted tourist or one of our own citizens, the present council and mayor should be charged with vehicular manslaughter and wilful misuse of taxpayers’ dollars.

To speak to the latter charge, it has been stated that the cost of running the two tourist booths is between $60,000 and $70,00, and renos to this facility will cost close to $300,000, by rational thinking five years of operational costs for the old facility, if the cost estimate is correct, which in 40 years they never have been.

We must consider that this new facility will not run itself, so even at the conservative estimate of $300,000 a year times five, at replacement, the cost is twice as much for half as much service. And pray to God no death or injuries.

But what about the present facilities? After all, we the taxpayers spent untold thousands building, abandoning and refurbishing the north booth.

We have been wasting taxpayers’ money for as long as I can remember.

It is small wonder that regional areas such as the BX and Coldstream don’t want to be part of this insanity. But unfortunately, this insanity is mainly caused by the regional district’s involvement or lack of it.

We have witnessed this with the see/saw battle over O’Keefe Ranch, the now City of Vernon airport, the VID water fiasco still ongoing after nearly 15 years of regional district control, our parks and rec run by RDNO and soon to be shared by the regional district.

Taxpayers of Vernon, Coldstream and BX, it is time for a change.

Save money and unify. At least with one governing body, we all stand a better chance to save a few dollars by eliminating half of the embattled, self-serving politicians and then we can live the way we should. Together.

 

Roy Heinrichs