Reduction in what it costs to fund the Greater Vernon Parks, Recreation and Culture

Tax break on parks and rec

There is going to be a reduction in what it costs to fund the Greater Vernon Parks, Recreation and Culture.

Two huge debts have been paid off and that means a 4.8 per cent reduction in funding costs.

Steven Banmen, Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) general manager of finance, said the $14 million Kal Tire Place and $7 million for the Performing Arts Centre have matured.

“Each of them had four separate debt issues and the largest debt issue matured Dec. 1, 2020,” said Banmen, adding for the performing arts centre, $9 million was borrowed and $7 million of which has matured.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee had a budget meeting last week and there will be a tax decrease of 4.8 per cent in 2021 for Greater Vernon recreation and culture expenses.

Banmen said there is also a conditional budget for the new cultural centre.

“It is grant dependent and fundraising dependent,” said Banmen.

There is also funds in the budget for trail development in the region including the first phase of connecting Predator Ridge to the Okanagan Rail Trail.

Other budget items included upgrades to the Greater Vernon Athletics Park and a variety of maintenance things like a new roof for the Vernon Community Arts Centre.

The budget covers Greater Vernon trails and open spaces, recreation facilities and programming, culture and performance the performing arts centre and Kal Tire Place North and South.

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