The absence of two councillors temporarily put discussion on two concept plans for Vernon’s Kin Race Track property on hold.
City of Vernon staff were prepared to present the two plans at the regular meeting of council Monday, Jan. 10, but with councillors Brian Quiring and Scott Anderson absent, Coun. Akbal Mund suggested deferring the presentation to the next meeting, Monday, Jan. 24.
“We’re moving forward with a process that’s very important to the community and there are only five councillors here today. Next meeting, all seven of us will be here,” said Mund. “I’d like to defer this until the next meeting and have the discussions at that time. It’s an important project, we’ve already committed $10 million to it. I don’t think we should proceed until everyone’s here. I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts.”
Mund’s motion was passed unanimously.
The two plans staff were prepared to present were put together by the results of the first round of public engagement for a proposed new park at the old race track. Staff was seeking feedback on the designs along with a request to proceed with Phase 2 of public engagement and finalizing designs.
Staff had hoped to bring the concept plans to the community a second time by March 14.
The 19.2 hectare site is designated for park use in the city’s official community plan and Parks Master Plan. It’s currently used for community recreation purposes and other organizations. There is also an RV sani-dump station at the facility, and the former track has been earmarked as the location for a new Active Living Centre, which will be the subject of a referendum with the municipal elections in October.
Among the plans’ highlights:
• Integration of council’s five priorities: walking trails, ice surfaces, sports amenities, dog park and affordable housing, as well as provision of land for the Active Living Centre;
• Multi-use open space;
• Wetland trails;
• Spray park and pond;
• Re-imaging of the street frontage and front of Kal Tire Place;
• Opening the park at night with lighting and programming to keep it activated;
• The sani-station has not been included at this time as staff looks at other options for the permanent location of the facility.
Mayor Victor Cumming extended an apology to staff at the meeting for the deferral.
“This effectively delays the project two weeks, which is not a helpful thing since we’ve established a challenging time frame for this,” said Cumming.