Vernon councillor proposes outdoor skating rink for Polson Park | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon councillor proposes outdoor skating rink for Polson Park

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January 08, 2021 - 7:00 AM

A Vernon councillor is proposing the city build a permanent outdoor winter skating rink in Polson Park.

Scott Anderson told that an outdoor ice rink in the park would be a great addition to the city and for its residents.

"We have tended to be very conservative in doing anything and taking any bold steps, and I think this is a bold step," Anderson said. "Vernon is big enough to support this, it's big enough to justify it."

Anderson added it was "just a good idea."

The councillor said he envisioned the outdoor rink would be a place where families would gather, creating a carnival-like atmosphere, with food trucks and propane fire pits which would give people something to do outdoors during the winter months.

"We are constantly facing the accusation... that there is nothing to do in this town, and there is a certain element of truth to that in the winter," Anderson said. "We're talking about revitalizing Polson Park, (and) what better way to do that than to bring people there."

While Vernon may not have the climate that supports the thousands of outdoor rinks dotted across the country, Anderson's motion, due to be presented to Vernon council Jan. 11, asks city staff for a cost estimate for both natural and artificial ice.

The idea has been put forward before. In 2019 Coun. Dalvir Nahal's proposal was voted down by Vernon council after a staff cost estimate for a temporary rink at the former site of the Civic Arena came in at $275,000.

Along with a permanent long-term skating rink, Anderson is also proposing the city build a temporary rink in the park by Feb. 15, citing the pandemic and the social problems that are developing as the reason for the rush.

The councillor said he understood that council may not be prepared to spend the money on such a short-term venture.

Vernon council will vote whether to move forward with the proposal Jan. 11.

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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