Eyes on Okanagan Lake

There will be a few makeovers on Vernon city property along Okanagan Lake this coming year, all aimed at attracting more residents and tourists to the north end of the lake.

During budget deliberations this week, Vernon council gave approval to $750,000 in funding for phase one work on a lakeshore park on six city-owned lots along Lakeshore Road in Okanagan Landing.

“None of it is coming out of taxes,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

Instead, the funds will come from cash reserves and development cost charges, she said.

While Mayor Akbal Mund said it was likely only a portion of the funds would be spent next year on design work, Lord believes the project can move along faster than that.

“There will definitely be some work,” Lord said. “They have to redefine the plan for it, so by the time they get that redefined, I think a lot of that work will get done next year but probably not for the summer season.

“To me, I've wanted to develop those lots for a long time. I really wish the ones we had were continuous because there's a couple of houses in between. But three of the lots are continuous and I think that having a really nice park there would be just perfect. There's a lot of access to the lake there. People are using it now.”

Another $727,000 will be coming out of reserves to pay for improvements at Camp Hurlburt, which is expected to be transferred from the North Okanagan Regional District to the city next year.

“There's no impact to the taxpayer,” said Mund.

He said the money will be used to make the camp more accessible and safer for the general public.

“As we all know, when you approach that you have to kind of do a 180 to get into it and a 180 to get out of it," Mund said. "That site is used a lot by the general public and we'll hopefully get everything ready and start construction in spring of next year.”

Council has also approved $490,000 in spending to improve four lake access sites and put signage and garbage cans in at four others.  

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