Vernon city council moves forward with outdoor skating rink proposal | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon city council moves forward with outdoor skating rink proposal

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
January 11, 2021 - 5:03 PM

Vernon city council has moved forward with a plan to build an outdoor skating rink, somewhere.

While Vernon councillors all agreed that an outdoor skating rink was a great idea, its location, and whether to go ahead with it because of the cost, will all be decided in the future.

In 2019, the idea for an outdoor skating rink at the former site of the Civic Arena was put forward by councillor Dalvir Nahal but didn't move forward after a staff report estimated the cost at $275,000. Councillor Scott Anderson, who put forward the current motion, took the time to point out the idea had come from Coun. Nahal and was not his.

Anderson's original motion had proposed an ice rink for Polson Park to open in time for the remainder of the winter, but this idea was scratched, leaving council to vote at its Jan. 11 meeting to move forward with opening a rink in time for the next winter. The vote passed unanimously.

"This is very very popular," Coun. Nahal told the meeting. "This would be a game-changer... we really lack affordable winter activities."

One of the ideas put forward would see an outdoor ice rink in Polson Park, creating a carnival-like atmosphere with food trucks and be a place for families to gather.

Councillor Kari Gares said she thought the community as a whole was very much in favour of an outdoor skating rink.

Where councillors differed in their opinion was where such a rink would go.

Mayor Victor Cumming said an outdoor rink would be a great addition in front of the future Greater Vernon Cultural Centre on 32 Avenue.

Coun. Scott Anderson pushed for the Polson Park site.

"The reason I said Polson Park is because we really need to revitalize the park," he said.

There were other concerns from councillors that the creek flooding issue at the park and the high water table meant it was not a good choice as a location for the skating rink.

The cost was also a concern.

"We have to be watch where we are spending our money," Coun. Akbal Mund told the meeting.

After much debate, council agreed to move forward with the file and requested staff come back with a report on the proposal.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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