Vernon reaches recreation fee-for-service agreement with Coldstream, RDNO

Rec fee agreement reached

A municipal feud over recreation fees in Vernon appears to have been settled.

The city announced Friday afternoon it has established a fee-for-service agreement with neighbours Coldstream and RDNO Areas B and C.

Vernon introduced a two-tiered recreation price structure after negotiations fell through which would have seen residents of those areas pay twice as much to use Vernon rec facilities.

Under the new agreement, Coldstream and Areas B and C will contribute to recreation operational funding, as well as for the Lavington pool.

The agreement will ensure equal fees and access to recreation facilities, services, as well as early program registration.

Coldstream will contribute $722,103 for 2024, Area B $369,547, and Area C $365,299, as their shares of the $4,247,665 Vernon Recreation Services budget.

Annual contributions will be adjusted in tandem with the Consumer Price Index, starting in 2025.

Coldstream Mayor Ruth Hoyte said Coldstream "is pleased to sign as a party to this agreement, after some long, hard-fought negotiations. Not only does this agreement provide a fee for service, but access for our residents. It also further defines the relationship between the parties. For sure, we can state that we can find common ground which is mutually beneficial for all."

RDNO Area B director Bob Fleming was also happy with the deal.

"I believe it is good for the residents of Electoral Area B, as well as for all the other residents of Greater Vernon," he said.

"Having grown up in Greater Vernon and participated in athletics my whole life, I am aware of the importance of recreation for everyone," added Area C director Amanda Shatzko.

"It is a pleasure to continue to share the cost for, and provisions of, recreation services in Greater Vernon," said Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming.

The fee-for-service agreement will commence on Jan. 1, for a term of three years, expiring Dec. 31, 2026, with the opportunity to negotiate for future terms.

The two-tiered pricing will still apply to residents of jurisdictions not included in the agreement.

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