Landscaping plan in works

UPDATE: 3 p.m.

Council approved a motion to go back to city administration to create a landscaping plan to take back to residents for discussion.

UPDATE: 2:51 p.m.

Coun. Scott Anderson said he didn't have the answers to the problem, but he didn't think the proposed recommendations were appropriate.

"Now the residents are having what they expected — reasonably — essentially destroyed. I have a real problem with that," Anderson said.

Coun. Akbal Mund — as the acting-acting mayor as Coun. Brian Quiring declared a conflict as the existing acting mayor given Mayor Victor Cumming's absence from the meeting — took an opportunity to add context to the discussion given the level of frustration detected in responses from the gallery during the meeting. 

Mund reminded the gallery that tax money collected from Vernon residents does not go directly back to their subdivision, but to general revenues to service all residents of the city. This was in response to suggestions that Turtle Mountain residents "pay enough taxes" to cover the costs of the landscaping in their community.

Coun. Kari Gares asked council and city staff whether there could be more consultation with residents of the area.

UPDATE: 2:40 p.m.

Coun. Dalvir Nahal wondered why the city' price tag for taking over the work on the trees and boulevards was $150,000 when Wesbild was doing the maintenance for somewhere closer to $30,000.

Nahal also said that Wesbild made the choice to put in trees that need irrigation against recommendations from council.

CAO Will Pearce said that $343,948 is paid by 168 properties each tax year for the entire range of city services. Pearce added that the city is confident in the $150,000 figure produced by staff.

Coun. Scott Anderson also questioned the $150,000 price tag.

"I am concerned about the inflation of costs. Have we talked to Websild to see whether their costs... and what they're doing?" Anderson asked Pearce.

"We have not asked Wesbild specifically about their costs, no," a frustrated-sounding Pearce told council.

ORIGINAL: 1:46 p.m.

There is a full gallery on hand to hear a discussion by Vernon City Council on the future of landscaping in the Turtle Mountain subdivision.

Turtle Mountain resident Wanda Remfert spoke as a delegation at the start of the meeting to emphasize the feeling of disappointment among residents on the likely path forward.

Turtle Mountain trees saved

At issue is the planned takeover of maintenance for the boulevards and trees in the community by city crews, after developer Wesbild passed the torch.

"We have no desire to become a strata community, no desire to form a community association," Remfert told council. "We pay enough taxes to pay for landscaping already."

"This matters, this matters to all of us."

We will have more on this story once council discusses the recommendations from city staff later in the meeting.

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