Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Vernon sports facility!

by Castanet Staff - Story: 85583
Jan 8, 2013 / 5:00 pm

Voters in Vernon and Coldstream will be asked to approve borrowing up to $7.53M for a sports facility complex adjacent to Okanagan College in Coldstream.

The proposed facility will include a synthetic turf field, a second soil based grass field and a rubberized track.

It will also feature stands for about 400 spectators as well as changerooms, officials rooms, washrooms and mechanical/electrical rooms.

Originally, the cost came in at just under $8.5M, however, those costs were trimmed by nearly $1M at a recent Regional District meeting.

RDNO Parks Planner, Keith Pinkoski, says the budget was trimmed in three areas.

He says the cost of off site upgrades to College Way (street lighting, curbs and sidewalks) was trimmed from $1m to about $390,000, covered seating was eliminated saving approximately $200,000 while a decision was made to go with a soil based second field opposed to sand based, saving about $145,000.

Pinkoski says he believes the figures will hold up.

"These are all numbers that have been used on previous projects so we are pretty confident in the numbers we're using," says Pinkoski.

"They are numbers that include some contingencies. We're confident we have enough buffering in there to account for any weird fluctuations in the construction."

Pinkoski says if the project comes under the $7.53M figure that would affect the tax impact downwardly.

The current figure would add about $15 a year to the tax bill over the next 20 years.

If given the go ahead by the electorate, Pinkoski believes the facility could be operational by the spring of 2014.

"If we get approval April 6 we would have a bout six weeks of design and four weeks of tendering so we would be looking at awarding the contract at the end of June and starting in late 2013," says Pinkoski.

"It looks like we would be completing the project, if it goes ahead, in spring of 2014."

If the project gets turned down, Pinkoski says it would have to be significantly changed in order to go back to the people a second time.

As for public reaction, Pinkoski says he is receiving a lot of positive feedback.

"At a lot of the public appearances we have received a lot of good support but unfortunately the ones against it are the ones that are the loudest."

Exact wording of the referendum still has to be adopted with the new numbers in place.

 January 8, 2013 - 300 votes 
Do you support borrowing $7.5M for a new sports facility in the Vernon/Coldstream area?
Yes: 129 
No: 171

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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.