It’s being used as a parking lot in downtown Vernon, but it could be the future site of a new $40-million cultural facility for the region.
The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) said Vernon city council has identified the 2900 block between 31st Avenue and 32nd Avenue as the best place for the proposed facility.
It’s another step forward for the project, which, if built, would become the new home of the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives and the Vernon Public Art Gallery.
“A project of this size and scope can be a catalyst to encourage higher density mixed-use development, which is what we want to see for downtown,” Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund said in a media release.
However, the project still needs to pass a major hurdle.
The regional district’s plans to finance the project involve borrowing $25-million.
Voters will be able to weigh in on the proposed borrowing when they go to the ballot box during this fall’s civic election.
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The regional district is hoping the timing will minimize the impact of borrowing on taxpayers.
“The $25-million loan is timed to coincide with the $23.8-million borrowed for the construction for Kal Tire Place and the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre coming off the books,” the regional district explained in a media release.
The RDNO said the rest of the money for the project, $15-million, will come from “federal and provincial grants, partnership contributions, fundraising and donations.”