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Vernon, B.C. to bring multi-million-dollar pool plan to referendum

FILE. Vernon city hall. Global News

The City of Vernon, B.C., intends to forge ahead with its effort to build a new pool and fitness centre without the financial participation of taxpayers in outlying areas.

Municipal officials are pressing forward with planning for the multi-million-dollar facility, meaning the project will be the basis of a referendum question attached to the ballot in this fall’s civic election.

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“Earlier today, at its regular meeting, Vernon City Council directed administration to move forward with a City of Vernon referendum regarding the Active Living Centre, where the City of Vernon would be the owner, operator, and manager of the facility,” according to a city of Vernon press release.

“Vernon city council has confidence in the outcomes of the master plan and feasibility study processes and believes the proposed facilities included in the Active Living Centre reflect the identified recreation needs of citizens of Vernon and the greater Vernon communities.

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Representatives of Coldstream and two unincorporated areas said they would not contribute to the construction of the pool and fitness centre. They said a ‘totality of unknowns’ associated with the project was the deterrent.

“We are not opposed to this project in principle as we agree there is a legitimate community need for a new pool and additional recreational spaces,” they said.

“However, we do not have the confidence to move forward at this time based on the information that has been provided.”

The project also includes a double gym and various sports courts.

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The project was previously expected to cost $90 million.

Now the cost estimate has risen to between $112 million and $121 million.

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