Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Track Facility Planned for Okanagan College Land - Referendum needed to borrow 7.8-million dollars

Okanagan College and North Okanagan Regional District officials are touting plans for a big track and field facility on ten acres of college land north of the Vernon campus car park. The $7.8-million facility would include an artificial turf football field, bleachers, and a 400-metre running track. During a news conference Tuesday, Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton said the facility could allow the college to add sporting programs to its curriculum and hold coaching and athlete development clinics. Vernon campus dean, John Lent, listed a host of groups in the region which support the plan, including the Vernon Amateur Athletic Association. Coach Ian Cameron said the city's only track, at Polson Park, was finished. ``Polson Park has outlived its life, it's done. To have kids practising long jump on a paved run up is like practising soccer in a Safeway parking lot,'' said Cameron. Coldstream council is expected to give its approval to the plan as early as next Monday. It will then move on to the Agricultural Land Commission for permission to remove the land from the Reserve. Mayor Jim Garlick says supporters will have to sell it to the public ahead of a borrowing referendum. ``What would be the reasons for you to support it and have these discussions in the community because this is going to really be needed,'' Garlick said. The mayor said property taxes per average household works out to about ``17 dollars a year for 20 years.'' No date has been set for a referendum. Garlick says it may take place during municipal elections next November but possibly earlier.

Bill Tarr from Vernon Minor Football (left) and Kim Young from the Kal Rats running club stand beside design of new multi use facility planned for ten acre site owned by Okanagan College (P.McIntyre) Click to enlarge and for more photos Local politicians have big plans for a vacant piece of farm land next to Okanagan College in Coldstream. The regional district and the College --which owns the land--have reached a lease agreement to develop the ten acre site just north of the college's parking lot into a 7.8 million dollar multi use sports facility. The plan still needs approval from Coldstream council, the agricultural land commission, and from the public in a referendum. O-C's regional dean John Lent told a news conference, says the venue will have a number of facilities.
Sports facilitySports facility design"It will have a community use Olympic sized 400 metre running track.It will allow Vernon to have things like the Summer Games and would allow different football meets to be held that couldn't be held normally. It's a lighted playing field with an artificial turf surface that can be used for football, soccer, rugby and field lacrosse. It will also have track and field facilities, covered seating for 400 spectators, a field house, washrooms and a community meeting room. Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick feels it's a perfect site. "When you drive into the city, it will be there and it'll look great.The other thing is it's buffered from surrounding residential by the Ministry of Forests seed orchard, the college building and the highway, so again that's another reason to look at this site." No date has been set for a referendum, but if it's approved, the average Greater Vernon homeowner would have to pay an extra 17 dollars a year, for 20 years, to pay the 7.8 million dollar cost.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great idea! Vernon and Coldstream are sorely lacking a proper track and football field. A community this size should encourage this sort of facility to help our youth compete and excell in their athletic endevours. It seems far enough away from most residential areas so we shoudn't see the same "not in my backyard" upheaval that we saw the last time this area tried to promote athletics.

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.