Referendum for sports facility this Saturday

Tannis Nelson says it doesn't matter how people are voting, she's just glad they're voting at all.

By Charlotte Helston

Support for Vernon's proposed sports facility is charging in, but whether the project will cross the finish line won't be known until voters cast the last ballots Saturday night.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is proposing a new facility be built beside Okanagan College, off highway 97. It would include a regulation-sized synthetic track, a regulation-sized synthetic turf field, a natural turf field, seating for four hundred spectators, a classroom, changing rooms and bathroom facilities.

It all comes at the cost of up to $7.53 million. The RDNO is asking residents to borrow that money over 20 years at a cost of $15 a year for the average property owner.

The facility would address Vernon's lack of a regulation-sized track, and allow the city to host events like the B.C. Summer Games and the B.C. Senior Games.

Proponents of the facility believe those events will in turn generate cash by stimulating tourism.

The Vernon Chamber of Commerce has formally declared its support, as have sporting groups like Vernon and District Minor Football and the North Okanagan Youth Soccer Association.

The RDNO's community development coordinator Tannis Nelson isn't sure how the referendum will turn out, but she's glad people are out exercising their right to vote.

"We're very pleased with how many people have come out to vote," she says.

Approximately 1225 voters showed up for the March 27 advance poll, and another 1445 on Wednesday. General voting takes place this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Nelson is glad to see that either way their ballots fall, residents are having their say on the matter.

More information on the facility and voting requirements can be found here.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call (250)309-5230.

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