City’s Yellow Grit Box pilot program asks residents to “spread it around”

The City of Vernon is placing and operating 10 yellow grit boxes in key locations for a one-year pilot program aimed at improving sidewalk safety and assisting pedestrians in winter months. Each box holds the same winter grit used by the City's snow removal staff on icy patches on roads and sidewalks, but are designed for “do-it-yourself” public use in addition to regular snow removal. Pedestrians are encouraged to spread the grit inside the box on the slippery spots on the sidewalks to make walking safer for everyone.

Key locations for the boxes, most of which are located near the Schubert Centre downtown, were based on multiple criteria such as proximity to steep hills or areas that are used frequently by pedestrians, seniors and people using mobility devices. Anyone can open the lid and spread the grit over ice or other problem areas using the scoop inside the box.

Vernon is the second city in B.C. to try the grit boxes after a successful two-year pilot project in Revelstoke. After the completion of the first year, City staff will be reviewing usage and feedback from residents. If the program is successful and continued use is approved by Mayor and Council, more city locations could have access to yellow grit boxes to complete the program.

Much of the funding for the Vernon yellow grit boxes was provided by a grant from Municipal Insurance Association.

News Release Document
Posted: December 17, 2014

 
 

Road update: 27 Avenue at Okanagan Spring Brewery

Lane closures will be in effect on December 18 at 27 Avenue between 28 Avenue and the railway for the purpose of installation of two vessels at Okanagan Spring Brewery. Drivers are advised to expect delays and to choose alternate routes if possible.

Project Contact:
Allen Flett
250 765-0028

News Release Document
Posted: December 12, 2014

 

Road update: Kalamalka Road, Tronson Road and Eastside Road

Crews will be performing roadwork within the city of Vernon at the following locations:
• Kalamalka Road south of Browne Road on December 12;
• 8334 Tronson Road on December 12;
• Eastside Road south of Smith Road from on December 15 and 16.
Drivers are advised please expect traffic delays and single-lane alternating traffic, and to please follow all signs and flaggers on site.

Project Contact:
Braden Nixon, Postill Nixon Earthworks 250-308-8796

News Release Document
Posted: December 11, 2014

 

Road update: 48 Avenue Rail Crossing

Crews will be working on the 48 Avenue rail crossing on Dec 11, 2014, to upgrade railway lights. Drivers are advised to expect traffic delays and single-lane traffic during this time. Please obey all signs and flaggers in the roadwork area.

For more information, please contact Ryan Wiebe at 250-318-1123 or ryan.wiebe@cn.ca

News Release Document
Posted: December 11, 2014

 

Vernon RCMP volunteers begin holiday Lock Out Crime patrols

The Vernon RCMP Volunteers of the Citizens Patrol will begin their holiday Lock Out Auto Crime program this week.
In conjunction with the City of Vernon, ICBC and the North Okanagan RCMP, this program is designed to raise public awareness and reduce crime through education and presence.
The RCMP Volunteers Citizens Patrol will be checking vehicles in parking lots throughout Vernon and completing a Crime Prevention Notice identifying key areas where drivers can improve or eliminate the opportunity for a crime to take place.
The Citizens Patrol can be identified by their high-visibility yellow jackets with “RCMP Volunteer” on the back. Please feel free to ask volunteers about the program. For more information, contact Regan Borisenko, Crime Prevention Coordinator, Protective Services Division, by calling 250-550-7847 or by email at rborisenko@vernon.ca.

News Release Document
Posted: December 10, 2014


Ugly sweater contest promoted lower energy consumption, questionable fashion

The City of Vernon asked residents to turn down the heat and put on their coziest (and ugliest) sweaters for a chance to win a prize in the Ugly Sweater Energy Conservation Challenge. Participants submitted photos of themselves wearing ugly sweaters to the City’s Sustainability website and Facebook page between November 19 and December 1. Thirty-nine official entries were assessed based on the number of “likes” each photo received, and over 260 votes were cast to determine the ugliest sweaters in Vernon.

The winners in each category were:

• Individual: Clint Ingham, who won a Smart WeMo Switch and Conserve Power Switch
• Family: Kim Cooper and family, who received $50 certificate and Conserve Power Switch
• Group: Downtown Vernon Association, winning $150 certificate to lunch at a local restaurant

Along with the grand prize winners, names were drawn from the other entries to win energy-saving prizes.

Energy use in buildings is the second largest contributor (32 per cent) to Vernon’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A decrease in energy use benefits the City’s GHG reduction targets, lessens individual energy costs and reduces our dependency on fossil fuels. The energy conservation challenge encouraged families, employees and all members of the community to “turn down the heat, and turn up their sweater” to show what they were doing to reduce energy consumption. The temperatures were also lowered at City Hall, the Community Services Building and the Operations Yard in Vernon to reduce energy consumption during the contest.

Visit www.vernon.ca/sustainability to see all the contest submissions.

News Release Document
Posted: December 10, 2014


"City of Vernon receives $10,000 from Province of British Columbia"

Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund was presented a cheque for $10,000 from Eric Foster, MLA for Vernon-Monashee, on behalf of the Province of British Columbia in recognition of the City being named one of the winning communities of the Open for Business Awards. The City received the honour at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) annual conference held in Whistler, B.C., earlier this year. The money from the Province will be used to support the implementation of measures that benefit small business and promote an “open-for-business” culture.

“This endorsement from the Province of British Columbia is a strong indication that Vernon is moving in the right direction in support of local businesses, which provide so much of the city’s economic strength,” said Mayor Mund. “It is my hope that the new Vernon Council will continue to support and encourage strategies that develop businesses in the community.”

“I am very pleased and happy to have been able to present the City of Vernon a cheque for $10,000.00, said Foster. “Vernon is open for business and I am pleased the City has been recognised”
The applications were evaluated based on how the communities enhance small-business competitiveness, recognize the contributions of small businesses to the community, and promote the principles of the BC Small Business Accord.

Photo: Eric Foster, MLA Vernon-Monashee, presents Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund with a cheque for $10,000 in recognition of the City’s Open For Business Award.

News Release Document
Posted: December 3, 2014

 
 

"Road update: Bellevue Drive"

From January 1 to November 18, 2015, crews will be working on utility connections between 4401 to 4605 Bellevue Drive. During this period of ongoing construction and road work, drivers and residents are advised to expect lane closures and traffic disruptions.

For more information on this project, please contact the Prime Contractor:
Carlisle Development Inc.
Gordon Moss
403-990-8871

News Release Document
Posted: December 3, 2014

 

"Road update: Tronson Road"

Fortis BC crews will be working between 8117 to 8083 Tronson Road to replace a main between Dec 1 and Dec 2, 2014. Drivers are advised to expect delays and single-lane alternating traffic.

For more information on this project, please contact Larry Lorentsen, Fortis BC Energy INC at 250-558-3123.

News Release Document
Posted: November 25, 2014

 

"Fourth water main break in Vernon"

(3:40 pm) A fourth water main break has occurred in the city of Vernon. The most recent break is located on the 3600 block of 24 Avenue with 20-30 residents affected. Crews will be responding to the break following repairs to other locations.
PREVIOUSLY (1:30 pm): Three water main breaks are currently being attended to in Vernon:

  • 4900 block, Heritage Drive: A crew is onsite and the road is closed except for local traffic. There are approximately 60-75 homes without water, including three large multi-family properties.
  • 2800 block, Allenby Way: Crew is onsite and traffic rerouting is in place. Currently, 15-20 homes are without water.
  • 6900 block, Tronson Road: A crew is expected to be onsite following repairs on Heritage Drive and Allenby Way. There are approximately 10 homes without water.

Repairs are anticipated to take at least four hours each. Drivers are advised to take alternate routes and to obey all signs and flaggers on site.

News Release Document
Posted: November 24, 2014


"City of Vernon offers free downtown parking for extended holiday shopping"

The City of Vernon is providing support to the Downtown Vernon Association’s Annual Light Up by offering free parking all day during the annual downtown light-up. Starting November 28, downtown businesses will be open Fridays until 8 pm, Saturdays from 10 am – 5 pm, and Sundays from noon until 4 pm. Free parking will be offered on Saturdays until December 27.
Additionally, free Regional Transit Services within city limits will be offered to and from the downtown core on November 28.

News Release Document
Posted: November 21, 2014


"Okanagan Landing flood protection project begins in Vernon"

The City of Vernon has contracted King Hoe Construction Ltd. to begin construction on flood protection works in the Okanagan Landing area starting the week of November 23 and ending in December 2014. The majority of construction will take place on the west side of the Marshall Fields site and will result in a detour of the multi-use path. Please use the posted detour routes.
The public is reminded to obey construction signs, flaggers and posted speed limits through construction zones.
For further information on this project, please visit: www.vernon.ca/index.php/projects/okanaganlanding-road-flood-protection-project/

News Release Document
Posted: November 21, 2014


"Road update: Road and lane closures at five sites – November 25"

Crews will be working at the following five sites on November 25, 2014:
• 28 Street between 39 Avenue and 41 Avenue
• 31 Street between 39 Avenue and 41 Avenue
• 28 Avenue between 30 Street and 32 Street
• 22 Street by Harwood Elementary School
• 25 Avenue and 27 Street
Expect road and lane closure at these sites and plan alternate routes if possible. Drivers are asked to obey all signs and flaggers onsite.

For more information, please contact the prime contractor:
Ryan C. Stearns, P.Eng.
FPA Fletcher Paine Associates Ltd.
Consulting Geotechnical and Materials Engineers
Phone: (250) 542-0377
Cell: (250) 938-5620

News Release Document
Posted: November 19, 2014


"Road update: DVA Annual Light-Up – November 28"

Downtown Vernon Association’s annual light-up on will take place from 5 – 9 pm on Friday, November 28, 2014. 30 Ave from the 29 Street to 34 Street will be closed in preparation for this event from noon – 11 pm. Motorists are advised to take alternate routes.

News Release Document
Posted: November 19, 2014


"City of Vernon announces official election results"

VERNON - Official Election results for the City of Vernon 2014 General Local Election

Mayor

MUND, Akbal
CUMMING, Victor  
O’KEEFE, Mary-Jo  
TRIBES, Klaus  
MORROW, Jamie  

Councillor

QUIRING,  Brian
SPIERS,  Bob
CUNNINGHAM, Juliette
LORD, Catherine
NAHAL, Dalvir
ANDERSON, Scott
GARES, Kari  
OLSEN, Mark  
GILROY,  Jack  
LEE,  Shawn  
GREEN, Janet  
TODD, James  
WILSON, Colt  
GOURLEY, Art  

Total number of electors for the City of Vernon 2014 Municipal Elections was 9,644, which represents about 30 per cent of the voter population. The number of ballots cast in 2011 was 8,872.

The Inaugural Meeting of Council will be held Monday, December 1, 2014 at 7 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall, 3400 – 30th Street, Vernon, BC

For more information regarding election results, please contact Patti Bridal, Chief Elections Officer, at pbridal@vernon.ca or 250.550.3524.

News Release Document
Posted: November 18, 2014


"Vernon Fire-Rescue Services plans burn to prevent wildfire"

Vernon Fire-Rescue Services (VFRS) is alerting Vernon residents that, in consultation with the Ministry of Forests, there will be a large-scale burn starting in November following the first major snowfall. The burn is part of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which targets specific areas for fuel modification— in this case, a high-risk area within the city of Vernon that has a large buildup of dead fall from mountain pine beetles and a history of numerous lightning strikes.

The property scheduled for the burn is a large property of approximately 200 hectares (500 acres) on the north slope of the ridge above the Rise Golf Course and extending back toward Canadian Lake Estates. The dead fall will be collected into small piles and burned, and closely monitored by VFRS.

Due to the large area, work will begin in November after the first major snowfall in order to maintain safe conditions for the disposal of the dead fall. Although the burning will be carried out such that there will be very little impact to residents, people should be aware that there may be smoke plumes on the northwestern border of the city.

News Release Document
Posted: November 17, 2014

     

"Akbal Mund elected Mayor of Vernon"

Preliminary results from ballots cast in advance, special and regular polls in Vernon indicate that Akbal Mund is the new Mayor of the City of Vernon, after receiving 3,714 votes. Victor Cumming received 3,089, Mary-Jo O’Keefe received 1,312; Klaus Tribes received 1,011 and Jamie Morrow received 442.

The four incumbent City Councillors—Brian Quiring, Bob Spiers, Juliette Cunningham and Catherine Lord—were all re-elected with 4,275, 4,162, 4,120 and 4,006 votes respectively. Filling the other two seats in Council will be Dalvir Nahal (3,919) and Scott Anderson (3,805).

The other candidates were:
• Kari Gares 3581
• Mark Olsen 3514
• Jack Gilroy 3451
• Shawn Lee 3271
• Janet Green 3027
• James Todd 1568
• Colt Wilson 1127
• Art Gourley 768

The preliminary results are based on the ballot accounts prepared at each voting place and are subject to determination of official election results by the Chief Election

News Release Document
Posted: November 17, 2014


"Business Walks survey provides positive feedback on local economy"

In early October, the City of Vernon—in conjunction with Community Futures North Okanagan, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Vernon Association—conducted the second annual Business Walks survey over a two-hour period to gather data from over 145 companies on the current state of business in the city. The indicated that, overall, business is steady or improving within the city. Kevin Poole, Manager of Economic Development & Tourism for the City of Vernon, said the results provide valuable information to City staff.

“This is the second year we have undertaken the Business Walks program,” said Poole. “The program provides us with a great snapshot of the current economic conditions, while providing businesses with an opportunity to provide feedback to the City of Vernon and other business service providers. We have definitely seen a shift this year with 96.3% of businesses stating that their business was either steady or growing. This is up significantly over last year and is a sign that business in Vernon is picking up.”

Other notable feedback included:

  • Most of the businesses surveyed were small businesses, with just under 80 per cent employing 10 people or fewer.
  • The factors that most positively influenced business in Vernon include good location and clientele, the size of the community, demographic structures, traffic volumes and proximity to tourist attractions.
  • Respondents said the biggest challenge they faced was parking (53.7 per cent), lack of customers or finding employees.
  • The City can help support local businesses by focusing on parking issues (supply, cost and enforcement); revitalizing downtown; greater emphasis on promotions, marketing and events; attracting more businesses, services and young families to Vernon; improvements to traffic and transportation; tax incentives for businesses; and improving City processes and services.
  • Business owners and managers said the labour support programs and assistance with succession planning would be valuable resources for the business community. They also requested other information such as better access to local statistics data, City of Vernon plans, and information on marketing opportunities and campaigns.

“We are very fortunate in Vernon to have such great partners as we couldn’t undertake this program without the support that we’ve received from Community Futures North Okanagan, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Vernon Association,” said Poole.

For more information, please visit www.investvernon.ca.

News Release Document - 41Kb PDF
Posted: November 13, 2014


"Consultation begins on City of Vernon Master Parks Plan"

On November 10, 2014, City of Vernon Mayor and Council were presented a draft of the Master Parks Plan and approved the next step in the draft plan’s consultation process. The upcoming community consultation over the next number of months will focus on the draft project list and associated funding.

Vernon’s Parks Master Plan process was initiated as a top Council priority in February 2014, shortly after the completion of the Greater Vernon Sub-Regional Parks and Trails Service Agreement, which transferred the governance of local parks from the Regional District of North Okanagan to the City of Vernon. The goal of the Parks Master Plan is to develop a vision for the City’s parks and trails system that can be achieved, sustained and managed responsibly. To develop this vision, the City initiated an extensive public and stakeholder engagement process during the spring and summer of 2014. Over 2,500 residents participated and provided their input for the draft Parks Master Plan, which was reviewed by Council on Monday.

The plan includes recommendations for future park land acquisition priorities, park improvement projects, new park development and trail development. There is also a 10-year playground structure replacement plan. A detailed implementation strategy and funding sources are included in the draft plan, which is available at http://www.vernon.ca/parks/docs/Draft-Parks-Master-Plan.pdf.

As presented, implementation of the draft plan would cost approximately $12 million over the next ten years. Over half of the $12 million would be funded through tools other than taxation, including development cost charges, outside contributions and other funding sources. Of this, some $3.5 million is proposed to be spent on improvements to Polson Park, widely considered to be the jewel in our parks system. Should the community support the draft project list, and Council concur, some $5.4 million over the ten years would likely require funding through taxation.

For more information on the draft Parks Master Plan, please contact Kendra Kryszak, Parks Planner, at 250-550-3518 or visit www.vernon.ca/parks.

Photos: Polson Park in downtown Vernon.

News Release Document - 35Kb PDF
Posted: November 13, 2014


"City firefighter recognized with Dr. David Green Award by Muscular Dystrophy Canada"

The City of Vernon is pleased to announce that Vernon Fire-Rescue Services (VFRS) Training Officer, Captain Chris Kulak, has been recognized by Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDS) as Fire Fighter of the Year and has awarded him the Dr. David Green Award. Kulak was previously awarded the Governor General Award Caring Award, which he received in March, 2014.

The Dr. David Green Awards showcase the contributions of individuals or groups who inspire, motivate and share their commitment with others and foster MDS’s vision, mission and values. The Fire Fighter of the Year is presented to a firefighter who has demonstrated overall excellence throughout the past year in areas of public awareness, services, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment.

“Award winners are chosen for their exemplary excellence,” said Alyssa Goad, MDS Manager of Revenue Development BC/Yukon. “They help create public awareness, and make significant contributions in support of people affected by muscular dystrophy. They mentor, motivate and engage others with their enthusiasm, their dedication and their ability to expand Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission and vision: to find a cure in our lifetime.”

Mayor Rob Sawatzky said that Kulak’s dedication to community service and charitable organizations were something that he and Council continued to be impressed by.

“Captain Chris Kulak has won a number of awards for his volunteer charitable work and has deserved every one of them,” said Sawatzky. “To win this award for working to assist those with Muscular Dystrophy is an outstanding achievement that makes us all proud to be associated with him.”

“Chris is an excellent example of someone who gives so much of himself without ever asking for anything in return,” said VFRS Chief Keith Green. “We are proud to have him as a firefighter here at VFRS.”

News Release Document - 52Kb PDF
Posted: November 10, 2014

 

"Revised Road update: 43 Street and 24 Avenue"

On November 12 and 13, crews will be collecting groundwater samples from existing wells on 43 Street between 24 and 25 Avenue. Expect delays and single lane alternating traffic. Work was previously scheduled to be completed on October 28 and 29.

For more information on this project, please contact Jose Garcia, Summit Environmental Inc. at 250-545-3672.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: November 10, 2014


"City challenges residents to wear ugly sweaters to conserve energy"

The City of Vernon is hosting a community-wide energy conservation challenge to promote energy conservation by all members of the community. The Energy Conservation Challenge asks Vernon residents to down the heat and sport an ugly sweater for a chance to win prizes while reducing energy consumption.
Energy use in buildings is the second largest contributor—32 per cent—to Vernon’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A decrease in energy use would benefit the city’s GHG reduction targets, lessen individual energy costs and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. The energy conservation challenge encourages students, families, employees and all members of the community to turn down the heat and turn up in their sweater to show the City of Vernon what they are doing to reduce energy consumption.
Over $600 worth of prizes are available, including gift certificates to Rona/Home Depot, energy use monitors, energy smart outlets, LEDs and lunch for your office, classroom or family. To enter the contest:

    1. On November 19, turn down the heat and wear your ugly sweater.
    2. Submit photo entries to the City be emailing them to sustainability@vernon.ca or posting them to the Vernon Sustainability Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VernonSustainability
    3. Vote until November 30 by liking your favourite photos on the Facebook page.

Visit www.vernon.ca/sustainability for more information and contest details.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: November 6, 2014

 
Click to see the Poster
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"Kal Tire Place hosts “tailgate party” for upcoming Bands on the Run concert"

On December 13, Kal Tire Place is hosting the country-rock Bands on the Run concert featuring Blackjack Billy along with Canadian performers Doc Walker and the Road Hammers. Promoter David Hesketh promises the high-energy event will set a new standard for Vernon arena concerts.

Hesketh is billing the Bands on the Run event as a tailgate party that is reminiscent of ‘70s-style concerts with affordable ticket prices, general seating and an arena-bowl configuration that limits available tickets while creating a much more intimate concert experience for the fans and the performers.

"As a promoter, I am excited about being a part of this concert event, said Hesketh. “We have fine-tuned it into a great tailgate country party with the stage near centre ice and standing-only on the floor. Fans of these bands will be able to see them clearly from anywhere in the arena. It is going to be a great evening."

Advance ticket prices for the licensed, all-ages show are $42.50 or $50 on the day of the concert. General admission allows patrons to choose their own arena seats, or stand on the floor level or in the concourse.

Tickets for the Bands on the Run tour at Kal Tire Place are now available and can be purchased at www.ticketseller.ca or by calling 250-549-7469.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: November 5, 2014

  KalTire Place

"Bylaw Compliance Office winter hours now in effect"

City of Vernon Bylaw Compliance Officers have moved to winter hours of operation, from 8:30 am to 10 pm daily. To contact the Bylaw Compliance Office, please call 250-550-3505; all after-hours messages will be responded to the following day. For any off-hour concerns regarding emergency noise or traffic concerns, please call the RCMP at their non-emergency number: 250-545-7171.

Operations Services and Utilities emergency services may be reached by calling 250-542-5361 during regular hours (7:30 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday) or off-hour at 250-545-1361.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: November 4, 2014


"The North Okanagan celebrates B.C. Crime Prevention week"

The City of Vernon Safe Communities Unit is celebrating the annual B.C. Crime Prevention Week, which this year runs from November 1 – 7. Safe Communities will be out in the community promoting crime prevention education, services and initiatives with events aimed at increasing awareness, public safety and encouraging citizens to help make B.C.’s communities safer.

Crime Prevention Week targets a number of objectives:
  • raising public awareness on the importance of prevention;
  • encouraging public participation to ensure its success;
  • prompting a number of partners from municipalities, communities, police, education, health and social services, and private business to take action to preserve or restore an all-around sense of security within their respective communities.

Join the Safe Communities Unit at community events featuring the Wheel of Safety, distracted driving-walking course, fatal vision goggles test; information on programs, service and topics such as cyber, personal and bike safety and more. Stop by and win prizes.

  • Wednesday, November 5
    Sprit Square, Vernon 12:30 -1:30 pm

  • Thursday, November 6
    Belvedere Park, Enderby: 10 -11 am
    Askew’s Foods, Armstrong 12:30 -1:30 pm What Everyone Needs to Know about Social Media presented by Jesse Miller
    Fulton Secondary Auditorium, Vernon 7 pm No registration or entrance fee required

  • Friday, November 7
    Social Media Education Awareness for Professionals Working with Youth presented by Jesse Miller Schubert Centre, Vernon 8:30 am check-in $10 per person. To register, please email vernon@cmha.bc.ca with “Jesse Miller“ in the subject line. This event is sponsored by Canadian Mental Suicide Prevention Program, Health Association, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, School District 22, Vernon Teachers Association, and Mental Illness Support Centre Society.

News Release Document - 40Kb PDF
Posted: November 4, 2014


"Vernon hotel tax revenues experience 19% growth for August 2014"

Vernon’s tourism industry experienced a significant increase in hotel tax revenues for August 2014 over the previous year, which City officials are saying is a hopeful sign Vernon’s tourism-based businesses. The hotel tax revenues collected are just under $90,000, a 19-per-cent increase for the month of August and a 25-per-cent increase in the year to date.

“We’re extremely pleased with the 25 per cent growth we’ve seen in hotel tax revenue year to date as it reflects growth in the tourism sector,” said Kevin Poole, the Manager of Economic Development & Tourism for the City of Vernon. “In talking with accommodators, we were anticipating strong numbers in August, but were surprised to see revenues for the month coming in close to $90,000. This is up 19 per cent over the second highest month on record since accommodators began collecting the 2 per cent tax in Vernon in 2010.”

Accommodators in the City of Vernon began collecting the Municipal Regional District Tax (hotel tax) in March 2010. Since that time, the City has experienced strong and consistent year-over-year growth in revenues. This trend has continued in 2014 with January to August figures up 25 per cent over the same period in 2013. The City of Vernon has just received the revenue collected in August 2014, which marks the highest revenue month since inception at $89,567.76. This is up 19 per cent over the second highest revenue month which occurred in August 2013 at $75,141.02.

In 2013, the City of Vernon received $438,495 in revenue from the hotel tax. The revenues collected are allocated fully towards tourism marketing, programs and projects as stated in the City of Vernon Hotel Tax Bylaw. Any surplus funds within the account at the end of the year are transferred into a Hotel Tax Reserve Account, which are utilized in subsequent years.

The City of Vernon is the final stages of preparing their Hotel Tax Renewal Application, which will be submitted to Destination BC and the Province of BC this week. One of the requirements needed to proceed with the application is to gain support from a minimum of 51 per cent of the accommodators and 51 per cent of the rooms. To date, the City of Vernon has received support from 69 per cent of the accommodators representing 89 per cent of the total rooms in the city of Vernon.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: October 31, 2014


"Road update: 32 Avenue and 28 Street"

Construction along 32 Avenue for railway and utility work is underway, and full road closure is in effect between 28 and 29 Street until approximately November 19. There is no pedestrian access across the 32 Avenue railway crossing November 3-5, and alternate pedestrian routes should be used. Please use alternate routes and obey all signs and flaggers.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: October 28, 2014


"Road update: Highway 97 railway crossing"

VERNON, B.C. - CN Crews will be replacing the railway crossing on Hwy 97 north of Swan Lake on October 30, 2014, with work expected to last one day. Southbound highway traffic will be detoured via Old Kamloops Rd to 43 Avenue. Please obey all signs and flaggers and use alternate routes if possible. Please contact the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for further information.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: October 28, 2014


"Vernon hosts Citizens Patrol conference and training sessions"

The City of Vernon Citizens Patrol Group, in conjunction with Vernon RCMP, hosted its first one-day conference on Saturday, October 25, for Citizen Patrol volunteers that included a day of guest speakers, training and networking. The conference was attended by over 50 RCMP volunteers from Salmon Arm, Logan Lake, Summerland, Kelowna, Kamloops, Lumby and Vernon.

Presenters at the conference included the RCMP volunteer management program director, ICBC road safety coordinator, RCMP Combined Forces-Special Enforcement Unit, the Southeast District Telecoms Unit and Vernon’s Provincial Dog Services.

“The biggest takeaways from the conference were the networking and information-sharing opportunities with other regional Citizens Patrol groups, which I think was beneficial for all of our attendees, in addition to the skills and knowledge training,” said Regan Borisenko, Crime Prevention Coordinator for the City of Vernon. “The feedback we received was 100 per cent positive towards the conference presentations as well as the central location.”

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: October 27, 2014

 

"Road update: 39A Street and 30 Avenue"

Excavation work will be taking place at 39A Street and 30 Avenue for hydro and telephone service between October 28 and November 4, 2014. Expect delays and single-lane alternating traffic.

News Release Document - 36Kb PDF
Posted: October 27, 2014

 

"Road update: 43 Street and 24 Avenue"

On October 28 and 29, crews will be collecting groundwater samples from existing wells on 43 Street between 24 and 25 Avenue. Expect delays and single lane alternating traffic.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: October 27, 2014

 

"Safe Communities Unit provides safety tips for Trick-or-Treaters"

City of Vernon Safe Communities Unit wants to remind trick-or-treaters that a few tips can make your Halloween safe as well as spooktacular. Remember:

• Always trick-or-treat with a friend. Younger children should be with an adult.
• Always have a flashlight if you are going to be out after dark.
• Make sure cars can see you by wearing light-coloured, non-flammable fabric. Glow sticks and reflective tape help people in vehicles see trick-or-treaters in the dark.
• Choose make-up instead of mask so that you can see. If you must wear a mask, make the eyeholes larger so you can see. Push the mask up on your head when you are walking.
• Only go to well-lit homes and only accept treats at the door. Never go inside.
• Remember to always STOP, LOOK and LISTEN before crossing the road. Make sure that you make eye contact with the drivers so that you know they have seen you before you cross the street.
• Plan a trick-or-treat route and a curfew time for older trick-or-treaters.
• Always have a parent check over candy before eating the treats.

Please stop by the Community Policing Office at 2900 32 Ave and pick up trick-or-treat bags, along with Halloween-safety-themed colouring books—and a treat or two—while quantities last. The Community Policing Office will open for trick-or-treating as part of the DVA’s Trick-or-Treat Trail from 3-5 pm. Members of the Safe Communities Unit will also be in the Village Green Centre.

For further information on Halloween safety or any other community safety matters, please contact Rachael Zubick, Coordinator of Vernon Community Policing Office (rzubick@vernon.ca) or Regan Borisenko, Crime Prevention Coordinator, (rborisenko@vernon.ca).

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: October 27, 2014


"Road update: Bellevue Drive Construction"

Crews will be working on sewer and water lines along Bellevue Drive between October 28 and November 30, 2014, in order to tie in City water and sewer lines. Single-lane alternating traffic will be in effect during this time. Please use caution and obey all signs and flaggers on site.
For more information on this project, please contact Gordon Mross of Okanagan Ridge LP at 403-571-8400 or 403-990-8871.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: October 23, 2014

 

"Vernon Aquatic Centre celebrates 20th anniversary"

The Vernon Recreation Centre is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Aquatic Centre by rolling back admission to $2 on November 1 and 2, and offering games and prizes for kids on November 2. In 1994, the Aquatic Centre reopened with a new look that included a tropical-themed oasis with a waterslide, lazy river, hot tub, sauna and steam room situated beside a 25-metre competition pool.

Since 1994, the Aquatic Centre has had over 4.5 million visits from regular and drop-in users. The aquatic centre’s lifeguard staff have received a number of commendations from the Lifesaving Society and BC Ambulance Service in recognition of their skills and training. The swimming instructors have taught over 200,000 water safety lessons to members of our community, making sure children are safe when they visit North Okanagan lakes and rivers. The aquatic fitness staff have offered over 26,000 hours of fitness programs that help members of the community rehabilitate from serious injuries and stay active during the cold winter months. And Aqua Awareness staff have provided encouragement and a helping hand to over 5,000 people who need a little extra assistance in and around the water.

The Vernon Aquatic Centre also hosts some of the top-rated aquatic sport clubs in B.C. The Vernon Kokanee Swim Club has a longstanding reputation for being one of the best swim clubs in the area. The Vernon Silhouettes are currently among the top-ranking synchronized swimming clubs in the Interior. The Aquatic Centre is also a regular training center for Vernon Special Olympians.

There have been several improvements to the facility over the years such as the addition of a rope swing, rock climbing wall, an expanded weight room, flooring and updated showers. There have also been many updates that are less noticeable but have helped increase comfort and safety for staff and clients: new boilers, a new roof, improved lighting, waterproof electrical panels and a dehumidification system to improve air quality.

In photo: Instructor Demi Asleson with her Sunfish swim students at Vernon Aquatic Centre.

News Release Document - 36Kb PDF
Posted: October 22, 2014

 

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"COP program to provide support to Lumby RCMP on Halloween"

City of Vernon Safe Communities Unit, the Village of Lumby and the Lumby RCMP Detachment are pleased to announce that the first official duties of the new Lumby Citizens Patrol (COP) will be foot patrol on Halloween night to be eyes and ears for the Lumby RCMP. The community-based volunteer group has helped to minimize crime occurring throughout the North Okanagan for over 20 years. COP volunteers observe, record and report suspicious activities to police officers.

Vernon’s COP program is currently seeking volunteers. For more information on volunteering or to learn more about the Community Policing program, please contact Regan Borisenko, Crime Prevention Coordinator, at rborisenko@vernon.ca or Rachael Zubick, Community Policing Office Coordinator, at rzubick@vernon.ca.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: October 22, 2014


"Road update: 32 Avenue road construction and closure"

32 Avenue will be closed between 28 Street and 29 Street to accommodate railway and utility reconstruction works starting Wednesday, October 29, and continuing for approximately three weeks. Work may start early (6:00 am) on several days to accommodate train schedules, but this will be keep to a minimum. Please note that traffic control will be in effect for the duration of construction and detours posted in advance of the road closure. Access to local businesses will still be possible during construction.

Pedestrian access will be limited during construction, with full closure to pedestrians from November 3 – 5 to accommodate railway track upgrades.

For more information regarding this project please contact Monaghan Engineering at
250-503-1023.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: October 20, 2014


"Notice of elections by voting – City of Vernon"

Notice of elections by voting – City of Vernon

PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY given to the electors of the City of Vernon that an election by voting is necessary to elect a Mayor (1) and Councillors (6), and that the persons nominated as candidates and for whom votes will be received are:

Mayor – One (1) to be elected

Last Name

First Name

Address

CUMMING

Victor

7816 Okanagan Landing Road, Vernon, BC V1H 1H2

MORROW

Jamie

3817B Okanagan Avenue Vernon, BC V1T 1K7

MUND

Akbal

7008 Foothills Place Vernon, BC V1B 3Z5

O’KEEFE

Mary-Jo

8051 Okanagan Landing Road Vernon,  BC V1H 1J4

TRIBES

Klaus

1009 33 Avenue Vernon, BC V1T 6R6

Councillor – Six (6) to be elected

Last Name

First Name

Address

ANDERSON

Scott

6985 Cummins Road Vernon, BC V1H 1X9

CUNNINGHAM

Juliette

7350 Longacre Drive Vernon,  BC V1H 1H5

GARES

Kari

#4 4205 27th Street Vernon, BC V1T 4Y3

GILROY

Jack

3503 17th Street Vernon,  BC V1T 3Z2


GOURLEY

Art

4908 Bellevue Drive Vernon, BC V1T 9L5

GREEN

Janet

233 Country Estate Drive Vernon, BC V1B 2V2

LEE

Shawn

266 Country Estate Place Vernon,  BC V1B 2V3

LORD

Catherine

7066 Appaloosa Way Vernon, BC V1H 1B9

NAHAL

Dalvir

25 – 7760 Okanagan Landing Rd.
Vernon, BC V1H 1Z4

OLSEN

Mark

3503 16 Street Vernon, BC V1T 3X7

QUIRING

Brian

2606 24th Avenue Vernon,  BC V1T 1L3

SPIERS

Bob

2505 23rd Street Vernon,  BC V1T 4J7

TODD

James

3603 27th Street Vernon, BC V1T 4X2

WILSON

Colt

2602 45th Avenue Vernon, BC V1T 3N3

GENERAL VOTING DAY will be open to qualified electors of the City of Vernon on Saturday, November 15, 2014 between the hours of 8:00 am and 8:00 pm at the following locations:

Recreation Complex, 3310 – 37th Avenue (Auditorium), Vernon, BC Ellison Elementary School, 2400 Fulton Road (Gymnasium), Vernon, BC Vernon Secondary School, 2303 – 18th Street (Gymnasium), Vernon, BC

ELECTOR REGISTRATION will be on Voting Day only – there is no need to pre- register to vote as the registration of electors will take place at the time of voting.

A Resident Electors qualifies to vote by meeting all of the following criteria:

  • You are a Canadian citizen;
  • You are at least 18 years of age, as of November 15, 2014
  • You have lived in BC for at least 6 months prior to registering to vote;
  • You have lived in Vernon for at least 30 days prior to registering to vote; and
  • You are not disqualified from voting because you:
    • Have been convicted of an indictable offence for which you are currently in custody; or
    • Have been found guilty of an election offence.

A Non-Resident Property Elector qualifies to vote by meeting all of the following criteria:

  • You are not a Resident Elector of Vernon;
  • You are a Canadian citizen;

  • You are at least 18 years of age, as of November 15, 2014
  • You have lived in BC for at least 6 months prior to registering to vote;
  • You have owned property in Vernon for at least 30 days prior to registering to vote;
  • You have been designated by the other owner(s) of the property as the Non- Resident (Property) Elector for that property;
  • You are not disqualified from voting because you:
    • Have been convicted of an indictable offence for which you are currently in custody; or
    • Have been found guilty of an election offence

In addition to the identification noted below, a Non-Resident Property Elector must provide proof of ownership of the property for which they are registering to vote and provide written permission from the majority of property owners that they are the individual authorized to vote for that property.

To register as an elector all qualified Resident and Non-resident property electors for City Vernon must produce two (2) pieces of acceptable identification (at least one with a signature).

The following are examples of Acceptable Identification

  • BC Driver’s License
  • Vernon Tax Notice
  • ICBC Vehicle Insurance Documents
  • Social Insurance Card
  • BC Identification Card
  • Credit Card
  • BC CareCard or Gold CareCard
  • Utility Bill
  • Citizenship Card

Electronic vote counting machines will be used at all voting locations on General Voting Day, November 15, 2015.

In you require further information about any of the above, please visit the City of Vernon website http://www.vernon.ca/election2014/electionsVotersInformation.html or call 250- 545-1361.

Patti Bridal                                                                             Sue Blakely
Chief Election Officer                                                         Deputy Chief Election Officer

News Release Document - 51Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 20, 2014


"City of Vernon welcomes new parks planner"

The City of Vernon is pleased to announce that Kendra Kryszak has accepted the role of Parks Planner, which she began on October 6.

Kryszak, who has a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph, has experience with a wide variety of parks plans and construction projects. She has worked with both private industry and municipal governments, including City of Oshawa and City of Saskatoon. In her most recent position, she worked as a landscape architect in St. John’s, NL.

“The most intriguing part about this position was knowing that a new Parks Master Plan is being established,” said Kryszak. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to review the parks inventory, be involved with the public consultation and to work with all parties to come up with recommendations and an implementation process that will benefit the city. I hope to build strong relationships with not only the different City departments and Regional District of North Okanagan, but with the community as a whole to build the parks in Vernon to their maximum potential.”

The Parks Master Plan process is well underway, with the draft plan expected to be presented to Council at its Regular Meeting of November 10, 2014.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 20, 2014

 

"Smoke alarm campaign targets Sandy Beach Mobile Home Park"

On Saturday, October 18, from 10 am to 2 pm, Vernon Fire-Rescue Services (VFRS) firefighters will donate their time to go door-to-door to encourage residents of Sandy Beach Mobile Home Park to test their smoke alarms and replace their batteries. VFRS will also replace or install new smoke alarms—donated by Silver Star Rotary Club of Vernon, Okanagan Restoration and Johnston Meier Insurance Agencies Group—to homes that need them. All testing and installation will be done at no cost to homeowners.

The smoke alarm program was launched 2012 in the Big Chief Mobile Home Park when VRFS checked 140 smoke alarms and replaced over a dozen expired or non-functioning smoke alarms. The campaign is part of the Fire Chiefs Association of British Columbia movement, started in 2012, which has the goal of ensuring there is a working smoke alarm in every home.

“Almost 70 per cent of houses that caught fire in B.C. didn't have a functioning smoke alarm,” said VFRS Chief Keith Green. “Children and the elderly face the highest risk of dying in a residential fire. We want to do our part to eliminate that risk."

Working smoke alarms could reduce annual fire deaths in B.C. by as much as 32 per cent, and. research reveals a causal link between working smoke alarms and reduced fatalities from residential structure fires. Fire damage was reduced by 19 per cent when a working smoke alarm was present.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 16, 2014


"Road update: 32 Street Closures"

The City of Vernon will have temporary lane closures on 32 St (Hwy 97) from Hwy 6 to 36 Ave for storm pipe inspections the week of October 24, 2104. Lane closures will occur between 9 am and 3 pm in 30-minute intervals during this time, reducing traffic to single-lane in each direction. Please slow down and respect traffic control flaggers and signs in the area.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 16, 2014

 
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"Road update: 32 Avenue Closure"

Detours will be in effect along 32 Ave between 27 St and 29 St for utility and railway upgrades between October 18 and November 12, 2014. There will be no through-traffic for the duration of this project. Please allow for extra driving time or use alternate travel routes.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 14, 2014


"Road update: 29 Street and 43 Avenue"

As part of the 29 St project, Postill Nixon Earthworks will be working in the intersection of 29 St and 43 Ave between October 14 and October 24. Traffic will be reduced on 43 Ave to single-lane in each direction between 7 am and 5 pm. Please slow down and obey flaggers and signs in the area.

News Release Document - 30Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 9, 2014


"Pool times open up over Thanksgiving weekend"

Recreation Services is opening up the leisure pool and all hot spots for public use on October 11 from 9 am to noon because the usual Saturday morning swim lessons won’t be taking place at the Vernon Recreation Centre over the Thanksgiving weekend. The 25-metre lap pool is in use by the Kokanee Swim Club, and will not be available until 12 pm. Regular swim lessons will resume after the weekend.

News Release Document - 30Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 9, 2014

"Road update: Eastside Road and Whitepoint Road"

Road construction at the intersection of Eastside Road and Whitepoint Road and along Whitepoint Road in preparation for the installation of a new sewer force main will take place between October 14 and October 28. Single-lane alternating traffic patterns will be in effect during this time. Please slow down and obey flaggers in the area.

For more information, contact Braden Nixon from Postill Nixon Earthworks at 250.307.8796.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 8, 2014

  Road update

"Tourism Vernon manager starts new role November 3"

Kevin Poole, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism for the City of Vernon, announced today that tourism industry specialist Ange Chew from Vancouver, B.C., has accepted the role of Tourism Manager and will be starting with the City on November 3. Chew has over 20 years of marketing experience within multiple industries and tourism-based organizations specializing in tourism and partnership marketing, including Tourism Richmond, Intrawest and Bellstar Hotels & Resorts, in which she held the position of Director of Marketing.

“I am passionate about local food and travel experiences,” said Chew. “This role at Tourism Vernon offered me a chance to combine my love of B.C., wines, local produce and experiential travel experiences—skiing and snowboarding, water sports, hiking, fishing and so much more—by promoting a vibrant and multi-faceted city and region to the world.”

Chew said she hopes to leverage her experiences and relationships with regional, provincial and federal tourism associations, key stakeholders and partners to promote, raise awareness and drive visitation to Vernon, not only through established primary markets such as B.C. and Alberta, but from other Canadian and international audiences as well.

”We are extremely pleased to attract Ange to this position.” said Poole. “We are confident that Ange’s skills and breadth of industry experience will be an ideal match for Vernon and our tourism stakeholders and that she’ll be able to build upon the success we’ve achieved to date.”

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 8, 2014


"VFRS and Domino’s to deliver fire safety awareness, pizza"

Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) is teaming up with Domino’s Pizza in Vernon to deliver door-to-door fire safety awareness as part of Fire Prevention Week. On Monday, October 6, and Wednesday, October 8, some Vernon residents ordering from Domino’s Pizza may also receive a visit by VFRS personnel who will check household smoke alarms to ensure they are in good working condition. Homes with working alarms will receive a coupon from Domino’s for a free pizza, while new smoke alarms and fresh batteries will be provided to residents whose alarms are not functional.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 3, 2014


"VFRS Chief stresses importance of smoke alarms"

Fire Prevention Week begins across Canada and the United States on Sunday, October 5 until Saturday, October 11. Vernon Fire-Rescue Services (VFRS) Chief Keith Green is encouraging everyone to test their smoke alarms monthly.
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When was the last time you tested the smoke alarms in your home? Was it last week? Last month? A year ago?

If you’re like many people, you may not even remember. Smoke alarms have become such a common feature of Canadian households that they’re often taken for granted, and aren’t tested and maintained as they should.

However, working smoke alarms are a critical fire safety tool that can mean the difference between life and death in a home fire. According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoke alarms can cut the chance of dying in a home fire in half. Meanwhile, NFPA data shows that home fires killed more than 2,300 people in 2012; many of these deaths could have been prevented with the proper smoke alarm protection.

As a member of the fire service for 15 years, I’ve seen the devastating effects of fire first hand; the burn injuries, the loss of homes and possessions are distressing. What’s even worse is witnessing a family’s anguish after a loved one has been killed in a fire. It’s heartbreaking.

As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11, 2014, NFPA is promoting Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month to better educate the public about the true value of working smoke alarms. In support of these efforts, VFRS will be hosting local campaign activities throughout the week.

My sincere hope is that all Vernon residents will make sure there are working smoke alarms installed throughout their homes. These simple steps can help make a life-saving difference, and prevent the potentially life-threatening impact of fire.

Here are additional smoke alarm tips to follow:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Test alarms each month by pushing the test button.
  • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms that are 10 years old—or sooner if they do not respond properly.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound and understands what to do when they hear the smoke alarm.

News Release Document - 41Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 2, 2014


"Sinkhole sinks City of Vernon truck near City Hall"

A water main break near City Hall has led to a City of Vernon dump truck falling into a sinkhole.

A water main broke at approximately 1:30 am on Thursday morning on 31 St between 33 Ave and 34 Ave, and crews turned off the water as soon as they were notified. A detour was put in place and no vehicles except for those with the City were permitted through. When crews arrived on site this morning, one of the City trucks fell through the asphalt that may have been weakened by the water main break.

There were no outward signs of the cavity beneath the asphalt.
The water main break will be repaired by early afternoon today. Detours around the site of the break and sinkhole will be in place until repairs are completed.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Oct 2, 2014


"Road update: 48 Ave & 34 St"

Shaw Communications Inc. will be placing fibre cable to Holiday Inn and Pacific Inn hotels on 48 Ave and 34 St between September 29 and October 1. Westbound traffic on 48 Ave will be single-lane at times during this period and traffic may be affected. Please use caution and obey all signs and flaggers.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 29, 2014

  Road Update

"Road update: October 5 – CIBC Run for the Cure"

Travel routes may be affected by the CIBC Run for the Cure event beginning at 10 am on Sunday, October 5, 2014. The five (5) kilometer loop begins at Marshall Field, and continues to Okanagan Landing Rd, Tronson Road, past Kin Beach, Lakeshore Road, Cummins Road, and back to Marshall Field. Motorists are advised to use caution or take alternate routes during the duration of the run.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 29, 2014


"Silver Star Road detour in effect beginning Tuesday"

Silver Star Road construction between Star and Blackcomb Roads will restart on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, and is expected to be completed in approximately one week. Detours will be used as needed and alternate routes are recommended to avoid lengthy delays.

News Release Document - 30Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 26, 2014


"City of Vernon co-sponsors Annual Carpool Month"

The City of Vernon is co-sponsoring this year’s Annual Carpool Month promotion that takes place October 6 to 31, 2014. During this period, commuters in Vernon and throughout the Okanagan are encouraged to visit Carpool.ca and participate in various activities to be eligible to win $100 free fuel cards.

The carpool program, which is available to commuters throughout the Okanagan, is funded in partnership with the City of Vernon, City of Kelowna, UBC Okanagan and the Regional Districts of Central, North and Okanagan Similkameen as well as Westbank First Nation. These groups encourage commuters to consider using the carpool-matching service provided at Carpool.ca. There are currently 1,049 registrants from these regions. The user-friendly system is secure and free. As more and more people register, carpooling becomes an even more viable transportation alternative for commuters.

“The City of Vernon is pleased is be a sponsor of the Carpool service.” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky, “By working in partnership with RDNO and other regional partners, we assists in building the capacity of this service, which helps reduce the impact on our roads and the environment. Carpooling makes good economic sense for motorists and our communities.”

Although the costs of gas and parking are readily noticeable, the true costs of owning and operating a vehicle are much higher than most drivers would suspect. According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian household spends over $12,000 per year on transportation alone, the second highest family expense after housing.

For further information, please contact Wendy Majewski at wmajewski@vernon.ca or call 250-550-3634.

News Release Document - 35Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 26, 2014

  Car Pool MonthIn photo:
Last year’s Carpool.ca $100 fuel card winner from North Okanagan, Georgina Hershfield.

"Gas leak at 29 St & 41 Ave"

12:10 PM—Fortis BC is currently repairing a gas line that was damaged during gas service installation on 29 Street north of 41 Avenue. Residents are advised to avoid the area while crews assess the damage and repairs are completed.

News Release Document - 30Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 25, 2014


"City of Vernon receives Open for Business Award"

The City of Vernon is pleased to announce that it was named one of the winning communities of the Open for Business Awards at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) annual conference being held in Whistler, B.C. The Province will award the City $10,000 to support the implementation of measures that benefit small business and promote an “open-for-business” culture.

“I think that the fact that we have been named as a finalist in consecutive years for the Open for Business Awards demonstrates the efforts that our administration has put toward initiatives that assist and support business,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky, who received the award on behalf of the City. “I congratulate Council for providing that direction for our administration and am pleased that we have been named as one of this year’s winning communities.”

The City’s Manager of Economic Development and Tourism, Kevin Poole, was pleased with the recognition by the Province of British Columbia and the BC Small Business Roundtable.

“We’ve made a lot of progress over the past few years and plan on continuing to explore how we can better meet the needs of businesses in Vernon,” said Poole. “The City’s commitment to businesses in Vernon has been recognized by the Province and continues to be demonstrated in several ongoing initiatives, including the upcoming Business Walks program.”

The applications were evaluated based on how the communities enhance small-business competitiveness, recognize the contributions of small businesses to the community, and promote the principles of the BC Small Business Accord. The roundtable noted the 2014 applications are the strongest to date.
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News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 25, 2014


"Union ratifies Collective Agreement with City of Vernon"

September 24, 2014, 7:30 pm (Vernon, B.C.) -- The Collective Agreement between the City of Vernon and CUPE LOCAL 626 was ratified today after union members voted 88 per cent in favour of the conditions within the Agreement. The term of the Agreement is five years, effective January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2018. The 244 City employees who are covered by the Collective Agreement will see incremental wage increases, which total 8.5 per cent, staggered through the five-year term.

Ken Juniper, CUPE 626 President, noted the results of the vote indicate the membership are wholly on board with the Agreement and pleased that it falls in line with other municipal agreements in the area.

“The union membership looks forward to working with the City to supply the best service possible to the residents of Vernon and area in the years ahead,” said Juniper.

"This Agreement provides an excellent balance between the need for fair compensation for the CUPE members and their families and the need for the public to have certainty and long-term control of service-delivery costs to the community,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky. “Mayor and Council are supportive and appreciative of the effort and collaborative good will that was required on the parts of both our administration and CUPE members to achieve this Agreement."

News Release Document - 33Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 25, 2014


"Annual traffic signal controller maintenance and testing begins Monday"

Beginning Monday, September 29, until Friday, October 31, City of Vernon traffic signals—except those on Hwy 97 and Hwy 6—will be attended by technicians for short durations for annual maintenance and testing. During the time that the traffic signal technician is working, traffic signals will be placed into four-way flash mode.

We ask that the traveling public be patient, slow down and use care when approaching an intersection occupied by our technicians.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 24, 2014


"Vernon Business Walks takes place October 1"

On Wednesday, October 1, the City of Vernon will visiting over 150 Vernon businesses as part of the second annual Business Walks program as a kick-off to Small Business Month. The City has partnered with Community Futures North Okanagan, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Vernon Association to ensure as many businesses as possible can be visited.

“We have assembled over 20 volunteers that will be visiting commercial businesses throughout Vernon from 10 am until noon with a goal of gaining a better understanding of the economic climate in the community,” said Kevin Poole, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism. “Last year we were able to visit 170 businesses in Vernon and are hoping to visit just as many this time around.”

Business Walks is meant as a five-minute check-in with businesses to gain a better understanding of how business is going and how support agencies can better meet their needs.

“The goal of Business Walks is to get a pulse on the immediate issues and challenges that companies may be facing,” said Poole. “Prominent economists such as David Birch and David Kraybill have said that up to 80 per cent of job growth in a community is created from within. This is contrary to the belief that new job growth is achieved through business attraction efforts. Our goal is to create an environment in Vernon where business can continue to grow and thrive.”

Along with the City of Vernon, communities throughout Central Okanagan will also be undertaking the Business Walks program on October 1st. Last year, a total of 550 businesses were visited in Vernon, Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland and Westbank First Nations.

For more information on the Business Walks program, please contact Kevin Poole at kpoole@vernon.ca or 250-550-5565.

News Release Document - 35Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 24, 2014


"Recreation Services seeks photos for leisure guide"

Greater Vernon Recreation Services are asking the public for photos of families, children, teenagers and seniors enjoying Vernon’s many recreational options for use in its upcoming Leisure Guide. All submitted photos will earn the photographer a chance to win Rec Bucks to use at the City’s recreational facilities, and submissions used in the guide entitle the photographer to a gift certificate that can be used for programs and activities at the Vernon Recreation Complex.

All photo submissions must include a completed information form and photo release, which is available at www.greatervernonrecreation.ca.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 24, 2014


"Road update: City centre sewer pipe inspections"

Beginning on Wednesday, September 24, and continuing for approximately four weeks, the City of Vernon will be conducting sewer pipe inspections at various locations throughout the city centre. These inspections will take place downtown from 35 Ave to Hwy 6 and Alexis Park Dr to 28 St during normal working hours. Alternating single-lane traffic will be in effect during this time and delays may occur. Please be patient, and obey all signs and flaggers in the area.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 23, 2014

 

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"City and Union reach tentative collective bargaining agreement"

The City of Vernon and CUPE LOCAL 626 are pleased to announce that they reached a tentative agreement on September 19, 2014. Council endorsed the substantive monetary conditions within the Agreement earlier today, and the union will present the proposal to its membership for ratification on Wednesday, September 24. The membership’s decision will be announced following the ratification vote.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 22, 2014


"City of Vernon and CFO receive award for 2014 budget"

Today during the regular open meeting of Vernon City Council, the City was recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the 2014 City of Vernon budget, and received the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. The award represents a significant achievement, reflecting the commitment of the City and staff to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting. The City previously received this award for its budget in 2013.

In order to receive the budget award, the City had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and a communications device. All of these documents must be rated “proficient” in four categories, with 14 mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award. GFOA said that award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

“This award represents the results of a very comprehensive process leading to the 2014 Financial Plan,” said Kevin Bertles, the City’s Director of Financial Services. “It has been my goal to raise the overall level of financial reporting of the City and, in doing so, raise the level of financial transparency for Council, the citizens of Vernon and all other users of our financial information. Participating in the GFOA budget award program helps us to achieve that goal through its evaluations against industry best practices.”

A Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation was also presented Bertles as being primarily responsible for the award being presented to the City.

“Having our Chief Financial Officer achieve this award again is a satisfying recognition of the high standard of work by his department along with the constant collaboration of all the City of Vernon departments that serve our public,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 22, 2014


"Road update: Silver Star Road resurfacing"

The resurfacing of Silver Star Road from Star Road to Blackcomb Way is scheduled to begin September 29, 2014. The project is expected to take approximately one week to complete and will result in traffic detours. Drivers are asked to choose alternate routes if possible and please obey all signs.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 19, 2014


"Park ambassador program provides feedback about local parks"

The City of Vernon Parks Master Plan public engagement process is gearing down after involving over 2,500 participants this summer. The City took over the management of local parks from RDNO at the beginning of 2014. The Parks Master Plan is engaging Vernon residents to build a vision for these parks, including the park ambassador program that began in August and uses local volunteers to monitor parks and trails over different times of the days and weeks. Eight volunteers are taking note of everything from usage to cleanliness to how people interact, and making recommendations on how these parks and trails could be improved.

Based on park ambassador Garry Haas’s observations and informal chats with Girouard Park users, Haas has recommended general stream clean-up, installing a picnic table, paving the gravel path through the park, additional fencing and parking lot redesign. He is pleased with the existing maintenance levels in the park and believes local parks to add value to Vernon.

“I wanted to ensure that the future generations are able to enjoy the freedom of parks: to sit and think, watch nature and human kind, play with family and friends and think about their future,” said Haas. “The changes I suggest and those in the Parks Master Plan all need to be done with fiscal responsibility; they could be phased over time and should ensure the parks are maintained in good condition for the future generations.”

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 19, 2014

  Parks Ambassador Program

"Road update: 30 Ave & 41 St"

Motorists are advised of single-lane alternating traffic at 30 Avenue at 41 Street as water main upgrades take place from September 18 to October 31, 2014. Drivers are asked use caution and obey all signs and flaggers along the route.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 19, 2014


"City of Vernon named finalist in Open for Business Awards"

The City of Vernon has been named one of the finalists for the 2014 Open for Business Awards, which recognize communities that support small business through local-government measures aligned with the BC Small Business Accord.

“I think that the fact that we have been nominated in consecutive years for the Open for Business Awards demonstrates the efforts that our administration has put toward initiatives that assist and support business,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky. “I congratulate council for providing that direction for our administration.”

The applications are evaluated based on how the communities enhance small-business competitiveness, recognize the contributions of small businesses to the community, and promote the principles of the BC Small Business Accord. The roundtable noted the 2014 applications are the strongest to date.

“It is nice to be recognized by the Province of British Columbia and the BC Small Business Roundtable as a finalist for the Open for Business Awards for the second year in a row,” said Kevin Poole, Economic Development Officer for the City of Vernon. “We’re very proud of our innovate initiatives such as the creation of an economic development planner position to handle commercial applications, or being the first community in B.C. to participate in the BC Business Counts Business Retention and Expansion program, or our partnership with RDNO in creating a searchable employment lands inventory. There is always room for improvement, but we are definitely making progress and are on the right track.”

Along with Vernon, the roundtable named Delta, Grand Forks, Kelowna, City of Langley, Nelson, Parksville, Port Coquitlam, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Smithers, Surrey and Whistler.

To promote an "open-for-business" culture, the Province is providing awards of $10,000 to each winning community to support the implementation of measures that benefit small business. Winners will be announced on Sept. 24 at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) annual conference in Whistler.

News Release Document - 35Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 9, 2014


"Road update: 39 St & 30 Ave"

From September 9 – 19, road construction between 39 Street and 40 Street along 30 Ave will be taking place in order to connect storm, sanitary and water lines to water mains. Hours of work will be from 7 am – 5 pm. One lane will remain open for continual single-lane alternating traffic at all times. Please obey all signs and flaggers onsite.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 8, 2014

 

"Integrated Transportation Framework introduced at City of Vernon Council"

The completed Integrated Transportation Framework (ITF), which takes a long-range approach to sustainable infrastructure management, was presented to and endorsed by Council today. The framework is designed to be an innovative strategy that reduces costs for building and maintaining Vernon roads while upholding the high functions and standards Vernon residents expect. The ITF includes dedicated funding for road construction and renewal, greater emphasis on connecting existing road networks and prioritizing high-volume roads for reconstruction. The plan also ensures that the ongoing maintenance of road infrastructure can be achieved while reducing the pressure on Vernon taxpayers with an approximate annual savings of $1.7 million.

“The ITF meets and enhances the City’s goal of being a sustainable community,” said City Infrastructure Engineer Mark Dowhaniuk, one of the architects of the framework. “We’re making sure we’re spending the money on roads where it is most needed. This is a proactive rather than reactive approach, one that makes certain that we have dedicated funds to sustain and improve road infrastructure indefinitely.”

The ITF is the City’s first detailed study on long-term road infrastructure needs, and that takes into account regular, planned road upkeep by determining which routes have the greatest load—and therefore the greatest need for reconstruction. Vernon residents can expect to see more road construction on high-traffic roads in the future. However, using innovative techniques—including slightly narrowed roadways and recycled road materials—roadway reconstruction, improvement and maintenance budgets will balance with available funding.

“One of the most important things we can do for the City of Vernon is to provide a plan for sustaining and maintaining the assets and services of the community for our citizens: for the present and for the future,” said Mayor Robert Sawatzky. “This plan is the product of a long, intensive and insightful process that provides an important, detailed blueprint for maintaining and caring for our infrastructure assets. Staff are to be commended for carrying out the work and Council should be commended for supporting these important efforts to protect the investments of our citizens. Many communities opt for pretty, ‘photo-op’ projects, but a plan like this is probably the most important municipal housekeeping effort we can provide for our citizens.”

More information on the ITF is available on the City’s website at www.vernon.ca/index.php/projects/asset-management-integrated-transportation-framework.

News Release Document - 36Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 8, 2014


"Open house for Pottery Road reconstruction"

The public is invited to attend the Pottery Road Reconstruction Project open house at the City of Vernon Council Chambers on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 from 4:30 to 6 pm. For more information about this open house, please contact Richard Bedard, City of Vernon municipal design technician, at 250.550.3590 or rbedard@vernon.ca.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: Sept 2, 2014


"City of Vernon local election nomination papers available September 2"

Potential candidates in the November 15 local election will be able to pick up nomination documents for the offices of Mayor (one vacancy) and Councillor (six vacancies) from Vernon City Hall beginning September 2. Nomination papers must be filed between 9 am on Tuesday, September 30, and 4pm on Friday, October 10, excluding statutory holidays and weekends. There is a $100 refundable deposit on all nomination packages, and arrangements should be made with the Chief or Deputy Chief Election Officer to pick up your papers at City Hall office during regular office hours. Nominations will not be accepted after the deadline.

You may run as a candidate in the 2014 election if:

  • you are a Canadian citizen;
  • you are at least 18 years old on November 15, 2014;
  • have lived in BC for at least 6 months; and
  • are not disqualified from holding office, or otherwise disqualified by law.


In order to be nominated as a Candidate, you will require two (2) nominators who must be qualified electors of the jurisdiction you are running in. You do not have to live in the jurisdiction in which you are running for office. If you are elected to office, you will be expected to serve a 4-year term which officially begins by being sworn in at the Inaugural Council Meeting on December 1, 2014. Holding office can be time consuming.

In addition to attending regular meetings (2nd and 4th Monday of every month at 8:40 am, 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm for public hearings) you will be asked to sit on advisory committees, boards or commissions that also require significant time. You might consider talking to a current or former Councillor to find out how much time you will be expected to commit.

For more information on the nomination process or to make an appointment to pick up nomination papers at City Hall, please contact Patti Bridal, Chief Election Officer, by calling 250-550-3524 or emailing pbridal@vernon.ca or Sue Blakely, Deputy Chief Election Officer, at 250-550-3526 or sblakely@vernon.ca.

News Release Document - 39Kb PDF
Posted: August 28, 2014


"September camps available in event of continued job action"

In the event that the current teacher job action is unresolved before the scheduled September start date for Vernon schools, Greater Vernon Recreation Services is continuing to offer many of its summer camp options, and expanding them to include experiential, educational and/or physical activity components.

In addition to its current programming, Greater Vernon Recreation Services are also partnering with the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre to provide several great programs for children in grades 1 through 5. At the Kingfisher camp, for example, the kids can enjoy a day of outdoor play and experiential environmental education. They will have an opportunity to explore and learn about an interior cedar hemlock rainforest: the plants that grow there, local First Nation traditional ways of life and knowledge, and about the salmon that call the Shuswap River home. The camps will run Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 3 pm, and transportation will be provided to and from activities. Parents can register for as many or as few days as they like.

For more information on these or any other programs, please contact Greater Vernon Recreation Services at 250-545-6035 or visit www.greatervernonrecreation.ca.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: August 25, 2014


"Upcoming road closures and railway crossing reconstruction: September 2 – 6"

Starting September 2, CN crews will be reconstructing the 48 Avenue railway crossing due to failing railway track; the work is expected to take two days to complete. During construction, 48 Avenue from 31 Street to Anderson Way will be closed to through-traffic.

The 43 Avenue crossing is scheduled to be reconstructed following the completion of the 48 Avenue crossing with an expected start date of September 4. The work is expected to take two days to complete. During construction, 43 Avenue from Hwy 97 to 31 Street will be closed to through-traffic.

Motorists are advised to obey traffic control devices and follow posted detour routes.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: August 21, 2014


"Fire ban still in place for Greater Vernon area"

Vernon Fire-Rescue Services (VFRS) would like to remind Greater Vernon residents and visitors that the provincial fire ban is still in effect, including prohibitions on all campfires and open burning, and will remain in effect until the public is informed otherwise.

Specifically, this open fire prohibition applies to:

  • Campfires or backyard fires, fire pits, outdoor stoves or chimneys;
  • The burning of any waste, slash or other materials;
  • The burning of stubble or grass; and
  • The use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description.
This prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
There is a zero tolerance policy and offenders could be subject to fines from VFRS or the Wildfire Management Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resources.

News Release Document - 38Kb PDF
Posted: August 20, 2014


"Plaque to be unveiled acknowledging Canada’s internment operations"

The public is invited to the unveiling of a memorial plaque commemorating the 100th anniversary of Canada’s first national internment operations at 11 am on Friday, August 22. The unveiling at the Sutton Building (2749 30 St) Sunflower mural in downtown Vernon is part of a wave of 100 plaque unveilings at 100 different locations across Canada. Mayor Rob Sawatzky and Colin Mayes, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Shuswap, will be in attendance for the unveiling.

“The internment operations affected tens of thousands of people from many ethno-cultural communities over a period of nearly six years, causing inter-generational trauma that has been referenced by some scholars as a crippling legacy yet to be undone,” said Andrea Malysh, program manager for Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund and an internee descendant.

During Canada’s internment operations, which took place between 1914 and 1920, thousands of immigrants were imprisoned, stripped of wealth, forced into heavy labour, disenfranchised and subjected to other state-sanctioned censures.

“Recognition of the historical wrongs that occurred against our own citizens is the essential first step in moving toward the resolution of the effects of those wrongs that we all wish to achieve,” said Mayor Sawatzky.

“It is important for all Canadians to understand the full scope of our history, including its more difficult periods,” said Mr. Mayes. “The unveiling of these commemorative plaques is an opportunity to remember and to honour all the victims of Canada’s first national internment operations.”

Plaques recipients are also the St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church and St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Vernon. For more information about Vernon’s memorial plaque unveiling, please email Andrea Malysh at malysh@internmentcanada.ca or visit www.intermentcanada.ca.

News Release Document - 35Kb PDF

Poster - 501kb PDF
Posted: August 12, 2014

  100 yr anniversary

"Hockey league starts September 16, open to players, teams and officials"

Greater Vernon Recreation Services is inviting individual players or teams, 19 years or over, along with scorekeepers and officials to take part in the 2014-2015 Boston Pizza Hockey League (BPHL) starting September 16. The non-contact league will have 30 games over the regular season plus double-elimination playoffs.

League coordinator Mike Knights said BPHL is suitable for players of all calibres.

“We have some ex-Junior A players—some of whom have played for our very own Vernon Vipers—the odd ex-NHLer, and we also have career recreational players,” said Knights.

League fees for teams that register prior to September 1 are $7,500, including taxes; as of September 1, fees go up to $8,000. BPHL will create teams for individual players, who can sign up for $500.

“Our discipline committee has really built a clean and skilled league over the years,” said Rob Bauml, player, league veteran, and former league president. “It is a great mix of competitive hockey in a competitive framework that allows for reasonable contact between experienced players. We don’t tolerate violent play and behavior but the games are still fun and competitive while ensuring we can all go to work the next day.”

Interested teams, individual players, referees or scorekeepers can find more information by emailing Knights at mknights@vernon.ca or by calling 250-550-3669.

News Release Document - 51Kb PDF
Posted: August 6, 2014


"Road updates for Aug 11-15: 37 Street and 25 Avenue; 27 Street and 45 Avenue"

From August 11 - 14, City of Vernon crews will be sampling existing wells located along 37 Street near 25 Avenue, reducing traffic to single-lane traffic.
Please obey signs and flaggers on site and take alternate routes if possible.

From August 12 - 15, crews will be drilling and installing two wells along 27 Street and 45 Avenue, reducing traffic to single-lane traffic.
Flaggers will be onsite to direct traffic.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: August 6, 2014

 

Click on image


"Recreation Services expanding accessibility programs for children and youth"

The City of Vernon and Greater Vernon Recreation Services are pleased to provide greater accessibility to regional recreation programs by expanding discount programs for children and youth with disabilities. Over the past year, Recreation Services staff have been working with Bren Currie, the team leader for Children and Youth with Special Needs, and Annette Sharkey from the Social Planning Council. Their goal was to develop a discount plan for children and youth who are under the age of 19 with disabilities and who are eligible for special needs services.

“This recreation discount pass is changing lives and we are very thankful to have this program in our community,” said Sharkey.

The programs included in this discount include regular or drop-in passes for public swim times and weight room use, and drop-in and punch passes for Aquafit classes including morning AquaAdvance, Aqualight, and Deep Water classes, and all AquaTherapy classes.

Doug Ross, the director of Recreation Services, said this move expands existing accessibility programs. In the spring of 2007, Recreation Services introduced a 75-per-cent Affordable Access Pass for low-income adults who were receiving regular income assistance benefits, guaranteed income supplements for seniors, or Canada Pension Plan for disabilities, as well as for people with disabilities or persistent multiple barriers.

“Recreation Services is glad that we have been able to expand our Affordable Access Pass program to include these youth and hope that they will be able to participate more often,” said Ross.
For more information in the discount programs, eligibility criteria or other programs and services offered by Greater Vernon Recreation Services, please visit www.greatervernonrecreation.ca or see the new Fall Leisure Guide, available August 8.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Aug 05, 2014


"Crews repair three water main breaks in Vernon"

Crews are onsite at three water main failures this morning. Currently, the failures have been isolated and the onsite supervisor is determining the priority sequence for repair based on the severity of the breaks. The area of interruption is as follows:

On 18 St from Pottery Rd to 20 Ave
Along 18 Ave to 15 St and North to Pottery Rd
On Pottery Rd from 18 St to 15 St

Affected customers in this area have been notified and may be without water until the repairs are complete.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: July 31, 2014


"Bylaw changes allow liquor service on sidewalk patios"

The City of Vernon has updated its bylaws to allow liquor service on sidewalk patiosfollowing a request from the soon-to-be-opened Naked Pig BBQ and Smokehouse. The restaurant, owned by Marten Brewing Company Ltd., requested in April 2014 that Council change their Sidewalk and Boulevard Use Permit Policy, which has been in place since 2005 and outlines the application process and criteria for sidewalk patios, sidewalk displays and mobile vending. Liquor service on sidewalk patios was prohibited in the policy.

After consultations with the Downtown Vernon Association, changes to the policy were drafted. On Monday, Council supported changes and amended the Sidewalk and Boulevard Use Permit Policy to allow the provision of liquor service on sidewalk patios. They also included patio design criteria, hours of operations and fee changes to cover administration and lease rates. The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch of BC approvals are also required for liquor patio service.

The City Centre Neighbourhood Plan supports the policy changes in an effort to foster an attractive, lively, vibrant downtown. More sidewalk patios can help foster greater economic activity and a positive downtown atmosphere. While well-designed sidewalk patios can benefit business owners economically by expanding seating capacity and attract customers, patrons get to benefit from sitting outdoors to take full advantage of the regions climate. Patios also provide opportunities for people to use the sidewalks in different ways and usually for longer time periods. Active streets bustling with people enhance the sidewalk experience, increase safety and are visually interesting for passersby.

Businesses interested in developing a sidewalk patio or display area are encouraged to contact the City of Vernon Bylaw Division at 250-550-3505 or email bylaw@vernon.ca

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: July 16, 2014


"Second-quarter City of Vernon utility bills delayed"

City of Vernon second-quarter utility bills received through the mail or accessed through MyCity at the City’s website will be delayed for up to two weeks. This delay is due to the change in fees following the implementation of the Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC) recycling program, which began May 19, 2014. The fee recalculations are part of completing a smooth transition in billing services following this implementation, as well as ensuring that all statements are correct and consistent with the changes. The City expects that updated utility statements will be available on or before July 28.

News Release Document - 48Kb PDF
Posted: July 16, 2014


"City Bylaw Information: Large Vehicles in Residential Areas"

The City of Vernon’s traffic and zoning bylaws collaborate in ensuring that large vehicles are controlled when parking or visiting residential areas within the city.

Many Vernon residents have expressed concerns about commercial vehicles or other large vehicles parking or travelling through residential areas. Some of these concerns include fumes, noise from early morning startups or late evening arrivals, monopolizing parking, concerns over the safety of children, lengthy periods of idling, or even just the esthetics of having a large truck next door. While we do not restrict large vehicles travelling through residential areas, unless the route is marked as “no heavy trucks” due to engineering concerns, regulations are in place to deal with more ongoing concerns.

The traffic bylaw restricts on-street parking in residentially zoned areas between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am (overnight) for all commercial vehicles over seven (7) meters in length, for all commercial vehicles over 1134 kilograms, or for all vehicles designed to burn diesel fuel that are not passenger cars or pickup trucks.

The City’s zoning bylaw provides further restriction on private property - it does not allow a commercial vehicle in excess of 4100 kilograms licensed gross vehicle weight on a lot in a residential zone unless parked or stored in a fully enclosed permanent building. Short term parking during daylight hours for the purposes of delivery, service or construction on the property is permitted. Large pickup trucks, used primarily as family passenger vehicles, are exempt from these provisions.

These regulations work in combination to ensure that reasonable access to property is maintained, and restrict the conflicts that can occur with other residential uses or with the residents themselves.

To make a complaint, call the City of Vernon Bylaw Services Division at 250-550-3505 or email bylaw@vernon.ca .

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: July 16, 2014


"City receives COR Incentive Cheque"

The City of Vernon has received a Certificate of Recognition (COR) incentive cheque from WorkSafe BC in the amount of $43,713. This is the first of three annual cheques that the City will receive following the successful re-audit of the Safety Management System (SMS) and Stay At Work/Return To Work in 2013. In 2011, as part of the WorkSafe BC (WSBC) COR program, the City underwent an audit of SMS and Stay at Work/Return to Work program. Having passed the SMS portion of the audit, the City was eligible to receive a 10 per cent incentive payment from WSBC based on annual insurance premiums.

“This is a great achievement for the City considering it is one of only 31 local governments and naturally aligned organizations to achieve COR across British Columbia,” said It highlights the level of commitment and continuous improvement towards health and safety in the work place that City employees demonstrate at all levels throughout the organization.” In keeping with a council resolution, this money will be used to increase City compliance with WorkSafeBC regulations and worker health and safety. For more information on the COR program please visit http://www.worksafebc.com/insurance/partners_program/default.asp

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: July 16, 2014


"Campfire ban in effect starting July 16"

Effective at noon on Wednesday, July 16, in accordance with the provincially issued ban, all campfires will be prohibited throughout Vernon and the surrounding North Okanagan area.

The City of Vernon will adhere to the provincial ban, and this prohibition will remain in place until the public is notified that it has been rescinded. This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The fire danger rating is currently “high” throughout the North Okanagan region, with scattered pockets of “extreme”. With the current trend of warm and dry weather, wildfires in the region have displayed very aggressive behaviour and required additional fire suppression resources. Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires.

This prohibition applies to open fires of any size, fires with a burn registration number, industrial burning, fireworks, tiki torches, sky lanterns and burning barrels. The prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, please call 911. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: www.bcwildfire.ca
A map of the area covered by the campfire ban is available online at: http://bit.ly/1sfqVr9

News Release Document - 38Kb PDF
Posted: July 16, 2014


Update #4: Power restored to affected area

Vernon, B.C. (3:15 pm) - The City of Vernon is reporting that power has been restored to all residents affected by the gas line break earlier today and evacuated residents of the Ukrainian Village Apartments are returning to their homes. Fortis BC is continuing repairs on the line and estimate that 317 customers are affected and will remain without gas until the line is repaired, and Fortis BC crews have completed the relighting process, which may be midnight tonight.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF

Update 3: Gas leak contained

Vernon, B.C. (1:30 pm) - Vernon Fire Rescue (VFRS) is reporting that the gas line break has been contained. Gas will remain turned off while Fortis BC crews repair the damage.
Gas and power will be restored by late afternoon

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF

"Gas leak near downtown Vernon, 72 evacuated as precaution"

A natural gas leak that occurred during road construction near downtown Vernon has prompted Vernon Fire-Rescue Services (VFRS) to evacuate 72 residents of the Ukrainian Village Apartments on 27 Ave and 35 St. VFRS, the City of Vernon and Fortis are also advising people in the affected area of 27 Ave between 33 St and 35 St to stay inside with windows and doors closed while crews tend to the leak.

Air conditioned buses have been brought to the site for residents so they can be kept safe and comfortable while crews are working. VFRS Deputy Chief Lawrie Skolrood said it is expected that the leak will be repaired by 1 pm or sooner.

News Release Document - 32Kb PDF

Gas leak in downtown Vernon – 27th Ave and 35th St

City of Vernon crews are reporting a gas leak at 27 Ave and 35 St in downtown Vernon. FortisBC, Vernon Fire-Rescue Services and Emergency Response have all been notified and are onsite. Residents in the area are being evacuated as a safety precaution. More details to follow.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: July 9, 2014

 

"Rescue at pool highlights importance of drowning prevention awareness"

The City of Vernon and Greater Vernon Recreation Services are reminding the public that Lifesaving Society National Drowning Prevention Week is July 20-26, 2014, and are sharing the story of a recent rescue at the Vernon Aquatic Centre. The family in this story, whose names are withheld to protect their privacy, have agreed to share this story to underscore the importance of vigilance and awareness, and hope that by sharing their experience, they can help to ensure that this doesn't happen to another family.

In early June, a two-year-old boy swimming with his family—both parents plus an older and younger sibling—had a close call at the Vernon Aquatic Centre when he became separated from his mother and, possibly caught up playing with older children, drifted into deeper water. His mother did a head count and realized her son wasn’t within her reach. At the same time, the child’s father noticed him motionless in the pool and quickly moved to his son, calling for help.

The lifeguards had just completed a rotation, which involves changing guarding locations and doing a head count, when they heard the boy’s father. The child was passed to a lifeguard on the deck, who immediately recognized that the boy was in respiratory distress: discolouration of the skin (cyanosis), unresponsive and a lack of movement of his chest, expelling fluid. The lifeguard immediately initiated lifesaving procedures until the boy began showing signs of recovery.

News Release Document - 38Kb PDF
Posted: July 4, 2014


"Canada Day celebrations will include unveiling memorial to Councillor Nicol"

Canada Day celebrations in Vernon will include unveiling a memorial at Polson Park for Vernon Councillor Patrick Nicol-who passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer-during formal Canada Day ceremonies. The Polson Park Canada Day event runs from 10 am to 5 pm, with the formal ceremony beginning at 1 pm. Dignitaries will include Mayor Rob Sawatzky, MLA (Vernon-Monashee) Eric Foster, Citizen of the Year Brian Jackson and Queen Silver Star Cheyenne Krog; Councillor Nicol’s brother, John Nicol, will also be on hand. Other activities taking place at Polson Park include an opening prayer from a member of the Okanagan Indian Band, face painting, live music, food vendors and birthday cake.

Canada Day evening events will be held between 7:30 and 11 pm at the DND grounds, located between Hwy 97 and Mission Road, one kilometre south of Vernon. The event will feature musical performances by the Legendary Lake Monsters and a family movie followed by the fireworks at approximately 10:30. Entrance to the grounds from Hwy 97 is one-way only, and all traffic following the event must exit via Mission Road. Traffic control professionals will be on site to direct and monitor safe entrance and exit for vehicles. It is expected there will be some congestion and drivers are asked to be extra cautious, allow for plenty of time and watch carefully for pedestrians throughout the site.

Vernon Fire-Rescue Services, with assistance from BX, Swan Lake and Coldstream Fire Departments, and the Ministry of Forests suppression crew will be onsite to determine if the conditions are safe for fireworks, and viewers are asked to respect the security perimeters established for public safety. Leading up to the fireworks, pyrotechnicians will be evaluating weather and display conditions carefully to ensure public safety and compliance with regulations. The City will be providing updates via Twitter and Facebook on weather conditions that may affect the start time for the fireworks. Entrance to the fireworks display is free and family friendly, but attendees are reminded to leave pets at home, and to bring a jacket, blankets, lawn chair, radio, flashlight and snacks.

Both events received sponsorship from Heritage Canada – The Government of Canada.

News Release Document - 35Kb PDF
Posted: June 27, 2014


"City of Vernon Parks Master Plan moves into next stage"

The City of Vernon continues to seek the public’s feedback in the development of the Parks Master Plan. In the coming months, the City will be meeting with stakeholder groups and going out into the community and local parks to better understand user needs that will help set the direction for the future of Vernon’s parks. Additionally, the City is asking local residents to provide support for the plan by submitting photos of Vernon parks or by becoming a park ambassador.

“We want to see what you love about Vernon parks and your pictures say a thousand words,” said Cleo Corbett, long range planner for the City of Vernon “We are also looking for volunteers to become Park Ambassadors to periodically monitor and observe local parks over the next few months. Park Ambassadors will be asked to attend a one-hour training session and will be given tools to monitor how the park is being used, what is working well and what could be improved.”

To find out more about becoming a Park Ambassador or to submit a photo that could be featured in the Parks Master Plan or used to promote Vernon parks, please email parks@vernon.ca.

Photo: This beautiful fall shot of Poslon Park was submitted by Loryl Shields-Tkachuk as part of the City’s request for local park photos.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: June 19, 2014

  Parks Master Plan

"Predator Ridge Fire Hall construction well underway"

The foundation forms are set, and construction is well underway on the site of the new Predator Ridge fire hall. Operated as Station #3 Predator Ridge, the hall will be managed by Vernon Fire - Rescue, and integrated into the current deployment system. The two-bays at the station will house an engine and a water tender, and the building will include a training room, kitchen facilities and a hose tower.

Vernon Fire - Rescue will review paid-per-call tier assignments and roster requirements, in conjunction with the annual fall recruit. Visitors and residents at Predator Ridge will see the construction underway on the south side of the entrance road, with completion of Station #3 expected around the end of October.

Photos: VFRS Chief Keith Green (L) and Deputy Chief Jack Blair (R) visit the site of the Predator Ridge Fire Hall, due to be completed in late October 2014.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: June 17, 2014

  Predator Ridge Fire Hall
 
Predator Ridge Fire Hall

"New Visitor Information Centre opens door, welcomes tourists"

Visitor services will continue uninterrupted during the move to Vernon’s new Visitor Information Centre this week. The mobile visitor booth was set up at the highway Visitor Centre while the move was underway on Tuesday, June 10. Staff opened the doors of the new Centre immediately, and welcomed almost a dozen visitors while the boxes were being unpacked. The new Visitor Information Centre is located at 3004 39 Ave (near the Civic Arena).

The City invites all residents and visitors to stop in and see the new Centre. More improvements to the Civic Arena block are expected in the future and the City’s long-term plans for the site include creation of a park.

Please check out the website for great ideas for you and your guests throughout the year at www.tourismvernon.com

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: June 12, 2014

  COV Visitors Centre

"Parks survey participants get chance to play"

Parks appear to be a top priority for Vernonites. Over 1,000 responses were received in the recent Parks Master Plan Satisfaction and Priorities Survey conducted by the City of Vernon. Long Range Planner for the City, Cleo Corbett, expressed her gratitude to everyone who participated in the survey.

“This feedback is important to us,” said Corbett. “We are currently analyzing the responses received and results will be available soon, along with information on next steps and more opportunity for Vernon residents to provide input into the City’s parks.”

Blake Reynolds, Ken Don, Joanne Pears and Scott Stolberg were the lucky winners of a prize draw for answering the survey. Prizes included a 10 punch pool pass or a $50 gift certificate for a recreation program at Greater Vernon Recreation Centre.

Photo: (L to R) Scott Stolberg, Cleo Corbett and Blake Reynolds get some play time in at one of Vernon’s local parks. Stolberg and Reynolds were draw prize winners for completing a Parks Master Plan Satisfaction and Priorities Survey conducted by the City of Vernon.

News Release Document - 51Kb PDF
Posted: June 12, 2014

  Parks Survey

"Cleanup continues following Tuesday storm"

City crews continue the cleanup of Vernon streets following the severe rain and hail storm on Tuesday afternoon. Storm water sewer systems drained properly during the storm although the high volume of water exceeded the sewer capacity in many areas of the city, including the downtown core. Asphalt in front of the library was lifted by the storm water and engineers are assessing the damage. However, most repair and cleanup work to other damaged asphalt in the city will be completed by Wednesday evening.

Some of the City’s buildings experienced flood damage. A restoration company was called to the Science Centre in Polson Park immediately following the storm to assess and mediate damage after water seeped into the classrooms. Additionally, the main fire hall downtown had up to two centimetres of water in the basement. The extent of damage to both buildings is still unknown.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: June 4, 2014


"Changes to parking fee structure in the downtown core near completion"

The final touches on designated downtown parking areas, due to be completed by the end of June, will provide options for longer stays at a lower rate for downtown business owners, employees and their customers. Crews are in the process of installing a permit dispenser and electrical power along with re-signing and re-painting lines in the 29 Ave. parking lot in downtown Vernon, the last step in implementing a new parking fee structure approved by Council in mid-April.

Long-term parking in the Community Services Building (CSB) lot near City Hall, the 29 Ave. parking lot, the 25 Ave. parking lot and the Parkade have all been approved at a rate of $60 per month. In addition, the major lots (CSB, 29 Ave. and Parkade) will allow hourly or day use rates at $.50 per hour or $4 per day - half of the metered rate for on-street parking. The 29 Ave. lot will be split into two areas: monthly parking and day use, with an on-site permit dispenser to allow the purchase of hourly or day-use permits. Sixty numbered spaces will remain available for monthly parking.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
Posted: June 4, 2014


"Property maintenance bylaws protect safety and property values"

Every summer, the City of Vernon receives complaints regarding overgrown or uncared-for properties, lawns or other areas of vegetation. These properties can reflect negatively on neighborhoods and reduce surrounding property values. In addition, there is potential for the spread of noxious weeds or invasive plant species when these go to seed. Under the City’s Good Neighbour bylaw, property owners are responsible for maintaining their property as well as the adjacent boulevard and lane areas. Additionally, the City’s Traffic bylaw is in effect to increase visibility and limit plant growth near intersections and pedestrian areas.

“Quite frequently, it is the small things that make the difference: the trimming of a hedge, removing sucker shoots from a tree in the vision clearance area or the mowing of a boulevard,” said Clint Kanester, manager of bylaw compliance for the City. “It’s all about getting along and thinking of others while being a part of the community.”

Property owners are responsible for:

• Cutting any vegetation growing into the lane or along the edge of the lane adjacent to your property, and keeping property clear of overgrowth or accumulation of dead landscaping, vegetation, noxious weeds or other growths;

• Removing any waste vegetation, grass clippings or rubbish from the boulevard or lane adjacent to your property, removing all rubbish materials that accumulate on the property, and preventing overflow or accumulation of rubbish around any container on private property;

• Trimming any vegetation extending over property lines into the right of way that effects vehicles or pedestrians, and trimming any vegetation within the vision clearance area near intersection corners (street or lane) to the Traffic Bylaw requirements.

For more information regarding these or any City bylaws, please contact the Bylaw Division at 250-550-2505 or by email at bylaw@vernon.ca

News Release Document - 39Kb PDF
Posted: June 3, 2014


"City of Vernon announces 2014 Sustainability Award recipients"

The City of Vernon is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Sustainability Awards for outstanding achievements in four categories: Building and Development, Sustainable Business, Community Sustainability and Youth Initiative. The following award recipients contribute to community sustainability through environmental stewardship, economic viability and social inclusiveness.

Building and Development: Kindale Developmental Association, The Land Trust and Constructive Concepts Ltd. collaborated on the Vernon Veridian project, a 20-unit townhouse complex on 24 Ave that offers affordable housing to Vernon residents. Units in Vernon Veridian are rented at a rate of 30 per cent of the tenant’s income and the central location offers residents easy access to employment and services in the nearby city centre.

Sustainable Business: VantageOne Credit Union commits to providing financial and nonfinancial support to local partners and projects within Vernon. With a focus on improving health and wellbeing, VantageOne has consistently provided support throughout the community for sustainability initiatives, including education, health, arts and culture, environment and amateur sports for all ages.

Community Sustainability: Allan Brooks Nature Centre (ANBC) continues to work with the community on environmental initiatives with social and economic implications. ABNC consistently provides information about the environment, sustainability, ecosystems and habitat to its visitors and connects the local community with the environment around us. ABNC works in partnership with government agencies and other community organizations to support and encourage conservation and stewardship of important habitats in the North Okanagan.

Youth Initiative:The Ozone Class at Ellison Elementary School, with support from teacher Kim Ondrik, organized and hosted the 2013 and 2014 "Be the Change" Festival to provide a venue of celebration, learning and appreciation for Earth Day in Vernon. The Ozone class also takes part in community clean-ups, volunteering, and promoting
sustainable values in their everyday learning and practice. They have demonstrated clear contributions towards our community through enhanced public awareness, leadership and understanding the true value of sustainability.

Ellison Elementary School Ozone Class:
Youth Initiative
VantageOne Credit Union:
Sustainable Business
Kindale Developmental Association, The Land Trust and Constructive Concepts Ltd.:
Building and Development
Allan Brooks Nature Centre:
Community Sustainability
       
       
News Release Document - 35Kb PDF
Posted: May 27, 2014
     


 


"Provincial Bike to Work Week Campaign starts Sunday with Community Bike Fest"

North Okanagan’s fifth annual Bike to Work Week Campaign kicks off May 25 from 1 to 3:30pm at Polson Park with a Community Bike Fest that will include an obstacle challenge as well as a bike parade led by Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky. The event is supported by the City of Vernon, the Bike to Work Society, the Government of B.C., and local business sponsors and volunteers.

“The new bike obstacle challenge will also feature Mayor Jim Garlick and Councillor Maria Besso from Coldstream and members of the media,” Sawatzky. “It will be a fun and unique way to create interest in the Bike to Work Campaign.”

The Community Bike Fest will include bike safety education for families, a Community Policing Bike Rodeo and bike engraving. BrainTrust Canada will also be hosting a helmet check station. Additionally, there will be a bike decorating station, bike parade, face painting, entertainment by the Mark Rose Big Band, and other community-sponsored activities.

News Release Document - 35Kb PDF
Posted: May 22, 2014


"Public invited to open house to discuss replacement ice sheet"

City of Vernon Recreation Services and MQN Architects are hosting an open house in the Grand Room at Kal Tire Place on Wednesday, May 28 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm for the Replacement Sheet of Ice Project. The open house is for facility user groups—both ice users and dry floor renters—and any interested citizens from the greater Vernon area, including Vernon, Coldstream, BX and Swan Lake. This event will be an opportunity for groups or individuals to view the options currently being considered and supply input on the proposed options. This input will assist with the development of the building program and help establish required facility attributes.

The open house will start with an approximately 30-minute walkthrough and presentation of the preliminary plans before opening the floor for questions and discussion. The options being presented include twinning Kal Tire Place to the north and west, twinning the Priest Valley Arena to the west and east, and a stand-alone option. Groups or individuals interested in attending the open house are asked to RSVP to City of Vernon Recreation Services by calling 250-550-3257 or emailing abookings@vernon.ca.

News Release Document - 51Kb PDF
Posted: May 22, 2014


"Scooter Rodeo a great way to learn skills and safety tips"

The City of Vernon Community Policing Office, in partnership with the RCMP, Schuburt Centre and Southward Medical Supplies, will be hosting a Scooter Rodeo on Thursday, June 5 from 1-4 pm at the Schubert Centre. This course is free of charge for individuals or families that already have a scooter or are considering a scooter purchase in the near future.

“Scooters are great way to stay socially active if you are having mobility challenges,” said Vernon Community Policing Coordinator, Rachael Zubick. “However, like anything else, it is important to know how to be safe and keep others safe while you are using the scooter.”

Participants will learn about scooter safety, the rules of the road and basic maintenance, as well as get a chance to test their expertise on the practical skills course.

“The scooter safety course is fun way to make sure getting around town is as safe as possible for scooter owners,” said Zubick.

For further information or to register please call the Vernon Community Policing Office at 250-550-7840.

News Release Document -34Kb PDF
Posted: May 19, 2014

 
 

"City of Vernon calls for action on invasive mussels"

The City of Vernon is asking senior levels of government to take action to prevent the spread of invasive zebra and quagga mussels into Okanagan waterways. Zebra and quagga mussels are closely related mollusks that originate from Europe and are non-native to North America. They live in fresh water, such as lakes and rivers, are invasive, known to encrust and corrode hard surfaces and cause serious harm to waters where they become established. The cost to infrastructure such as clogged intake and outfall pipes can be enormous. As the mussel population increases, they remove important nutrients from the water and kill off native fish. Because their shells are small and sharp, they can cut bare feet, requiring people to wear shoes at beaches and in the water, and the smell of rotting mussels can be strong.

At its meeting on April 28, Council approved sending a letter asking the Provincial and Federal governments to take action to prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels into the Okanagan. Such actions could include providing more training for conservation officers to identify and respond to the threats of invasive mussels, providing more outreach and education to boat owners and the general public, and giving border officials the power to turn away boats crossing from the United States that are infested with mussels or require that they be decontaminated before crossing.

Residents can also send their own letters asking senior levels of government to take action. More information and letter templates can be found at www.vernon.ca/mussels.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: May 15, 2014


"Proper use of bike lanes helps keep Vernon’s cyclists safe"

The warm weather is spurring more people to ride their bikes to get around town. With so many benefits to cycling, the City of Vernon wants to encourage this mode of transportation and to ensure that riders safely get from Point A to Point B. Clint Kanester, manager of bylaw compliance for the City of Vernon, believes we all have a part to play in cycling safety, particularly regarding the city’s bike lanes.

“Bicycles are a valuable part of how people move across and through our community, so it’s important that we respect the areas set aside for their use,” said Kanester. “Vernon’s bike lanes help provide green transportation opportunities, help promote safe cycling and are an important component of the City’s transportation plan. “

Bike lanes are designated by signs or painted markings on the roadway and are marked with a diamond that designates them as special-use lanes. In more rural areas of Vernon or where there is no designated sidewalk or curb, other white painted lines near the road edge called fog lines designate the vehicular travel portion of the roadway. These helps motorists stay in their lanes and allow the shoulder of the roadway to be used for parking, pedestrians or cycling, unless otherwise marked.

Kanester provided the following tips for safe cycling and bike lane usage:

    • Bike lanes are for cyclist use only, and are not for vehicle parking or pedestrian use, either of which could force cyclists to veer into traffic.
    • Cyclists using bike lanes should travel in the same direction of travel as the vehicle lane next to it.
    • Sometimes, bicycle lanes may be between curbside parking and the lane of traffic and will be well marked by paint. Drivers, please watch for cyclists before opening your vehicle door or pulling into traffic.

News Release Document - 39Kb PDF
Posted: May 15, 2014


"City of Vernon promotes health and safety as part of NAOSH Week"

The City of Vernon Joint Occupational Health & Safety (JOHSC) Committee helped promote North American Occupational Safety & Health (NAOSH) Week, from May 4 – 10, to workers, manager and directors within the City by presenting information sessions and an organization-wide safety challenge. JOHSC received 120 safety challenge entries and warded 64 prizes to City employees.

JOHSC makes recommendations to the City for the improvement of health and safety for everyone within the organization. The committee consults with workers, deals with complaints and identifies unsafe situations. North American Occupational Health & Safety Week is an annual health and safety celebration spanning

North America from Northern Canada to the southern tip of Mexico. This year’s theme was Make Safety a Habit: Getting Home Doesn’t Just Happen. NAOSH was established at the same time as the free trade negotiations were taking place between Canada and Mexico in the mid-1980s. The intent of NAOSH is to spread the message about the importance of health and safety, to change workplace safety culture and reduce workplace injuries.

News Release Document -34Kb PDF
Posted: May 13, 2014

 
 

"City of Vernon releases travel survey findings"

City of Vernon Council heard the findings of the Household Travel Surveys on Monday, May 12, which were part of the City’s Transportation Plan Review. The surveys took place in 2013, when Vernon residents were asked where they travelled, how often and what mode of transportation they chose. Survey findings will be used to shape and update City targets and policies within the Transportation Plan.

Some of the information revealed by the survey included that the vast majority of trips that originate in Vernon on a daily basis—90 per cent—stay within the city. Additionally, 73 per cent of these are to destinations within five kilometres. However, 70 per cent of Vernon-based travel used single-occupant vehicles (SOV) rather than alternate modes of transportation such as walking, cycling, carpooling or transit. The City’s Transportation Plan has a goal of reducing Vernon-based SOV use to 62 per cent by 2038.

As the city grows, the number of trips will increase. If the percentage of SOV stays the same or increases, more and more commuter congestion will occur, particularly during the peak travel times. This congestion would negatively affect the liveability of the city and hinder local businesses and economic development. In order to avoid unacceptable congestion without expanding roads or building new ones, the City hopes to reduce the number of SOV trips under five kilometres, and encourage other forms of transportation such as walking or cycling. One person going work would only need to carpool, walk, cycle or take transit to work 20 days a year instead to achieve an 8 per cent reduction in SOV trips.

News Release Document -34Kb PDF
Posted: May 13, 2014

 
 

"New team leader for Bike to Work Week encourages other cyclists to join"

As Bike to Work Week (May 25 - June 1) approaches, City of Vernon has been supporting new team leaders who are taking part in the program that helps encourage alternate, more active methods of transportation. Kirbey Lockhart is one of the new team leaders and shared some of the reasons why he is participating in Bike to Work Week.

“It takes me about six to eight minutes to drive to work and 11 minutes to cycle with about 15 minutes to ride home," said Lockhart. "Pedaling allows me to unwind from the day’s tension."

Lockhart said he bikes to work in the morning from Middleton Mountain to get his “Zen moment” in Polson Park, as he pedals along the boardwalk through the park to his destination at RBC Dominion Securities. With rising fuel costs, Lockhart decided to buy a Canadian-made electric assist bicycle and plans to ride 100 days this year, an amazing goal. Lockhart is now challenging his co-workers to sign up and participate in Bike to Work Week.

News Release Document -35Kb PDF
Posted: May 7, 2014

 

"Friday Downtown Market Road Closures - May through September"

Every Friday from 3 - 8 pm, beginning May 9 until September 26, a portion of 30 Avenue will be closed to traffic for the Friday Downtown Vernon Association community markets.

  • 32 Street to 34 Street in May (2 blocks)
  • 30 Street to 34 Street from June to August (4 blocks)
  • 30 Street to 32 Street in September (2 blocks) Streets will be left open to north south traffic.

News Release Document -53Kb PDF
Posted: May 7, 2014

 

"City of Vernon, VFRS and Predator Ridge break ground on new fire hall"

Today, the City of Vernon, Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) and Predator Ridge Golf Resort kicked off the construction of the new Predator Ridge fire hall, expected to be completed this year. The City of Vernon approved $60,000 for the design of a two-bay fire station to be located at Predator Ridge Golf Resort on January 12, 2011. Once the conceptual design was completed, $600,000 was approved by Council for the construction of the fire station.

The City of Vernon and Predator Ridge began negotiations of a land lease that was given approval by both parties for a term of 999 years. The station is expected to be completed by the end of October, 2014.

The design of the station was completed in 2013 with significant input from the Predator Ridge Construction Division, who envision the station architecture complementing the current neighbourhood design guidelines. VFRS currently has 34 career staff and 40 paid-per-call firefighters. Station 2 (Okanagan Landing) and the new Predator Ridge Fire Hall (Station 3) will be operated by paid-per-call firefighters. VFRS responds to approximately 3,000 emergency calls per year.

News Release Document -107Kb PDF
Posted: May 5, 2014

  Predator Fire Hall

"City of Vernon addresses accessibility concerns"

The City of Vernon is making it easier to address accessibility concerns identified by the public. The City recently completed a review of its Committees of Council and are making several changes, including adding two representatives of accessibility issues to both its Advisory Planning Committee and the new Transportation Committee. This is intended to ensure that the City is receiving this perspective, input and expertise on all the development applications, policy development and transportation issues considered by the two committees.

In addition, the public is able to speak with staff about accessibility concerns they may have with City buildings, streets, sidewalks and other public infrastructure. Staff will follow up on concerns, advise members of the public of any regulations or bylaws that may be applicable or whether the issue should be brought to Council’s attention, and track the issues received and the manner of their disposition.

Previously, the City had an Accessibility Advisory Committee, which was eliminated in the Committee review process. That group focused on identified problems and potential programs, but did not have an opportunity to be involved with development and transportation. The new approach addresses that, and provides a process to address identified concerns.

Staff will monitor this new process and provide a report to Council at a future date, to include the number of concerns raised and their disposition and an assessment of the process. It is anticipated that this report will be provided in late 2014.
If you have concerns regarding the accessibility of public buildings or places, call 250-550-3634 or email csbreception@vernon.ca.

News Release Document -55Kb PDF
Posted: May 5, 2014


"Public consultation session scheduled for 25 Street traffic management proposal"

Residents of 25 St from Pleasant Valley Road to 46 Ave and connecting roads are invited to attend a public consultation session in the Arbour Room of the Alliance Church (2601 – 43 Ave) on Wednesday, May 14, from 6 to 8 pm. The focus of this session is to address concerns raised by residents in this area about inappropriate traffic usage of 25 St.
Proposed changes to intersection along 25 St were designed by City staff to meet resident requests while achieving the best balance between cost and results. To view a map of the proposed intersections please visit the projects section of www.vernon.ca/vernonmoves or call 250-550-3634.

News Release Document -32Kb PDF
Posted: Apr 25, 2014


"Public invited to Affordable Housing Forum on May 1"

The City of Vernon, Social Planning Council, the Land Trust and RDNO are hosting an affordable housing forum to provide information, ideas and networking opportunities for people interested in affordable and attainable housing. The forum takes place on Thursday, May 1, from 3 – 6:30 pm at the Schubert Community Centre.
“We want the community to be up to date on the programs and policies that exist to encourage attainable housing, but also discuss the challenges to reaching our housing goals,” said Juliette Cunningham, Chair of the City’s Affordable Housing Committee.
The forum will be broken into three main sessions and participants are welcome to choose which sessions to attend. Agenda items include BC Housing and CHMC provincial and federal programs, the RDNO quality-of-life survey, universal design guidelines for aging in place, and an overview of a local housing-needs assessment. The final session will be an interactive workshop to review current municipal policies on attainable housing that will provide participants a chance to give feedback to the City.
“Everyone is welcome but we think that realtors, private developers, and housing non–profits will be particularly interested,” said Annette Sharkey from the Social Planning Council.
For more information or to pre-register for the event, contact: info@socialplanning.ca

News Release Document -248Kb PDF
Posted: Apr 23, 2014


"City of Vernon recognizes 2014 Day of Mourning"

The City of Vernon will recognize and support the 2014 Day of Mourning on Monday, April 28, by flying the flags at City Hall at half-mast. Across Canada, April 28 is designated as the Day of Mourning, a time when workers, families, employers and others come together to remember those who have lost their lives to work-related incidents or occupational diseases. Every year, WorkSafeBC, the B.C. Federation of Labour, and the Business Council of British Columbia co-host a public ceremony to honour the occasion.

“The Day of Mourning is one day during the year where employers, workers and unions stand together in recognizing workers who have been injured or lost their lives on the job,” said Clay Fredin, Health & Safety Coordinator for the City of Vernon. “There were 128 workers who lost their lives in 2013, which is 128 families who are now missing a loved one. This statistic doesn’t take into account the numbers of families struggling daily to care for an injured loved one. The Day of Mourning is an essential reminder to everyone how important workplace health and safety is on a daily basis throughout the year, ensuring workers go home safely to their families each day.”

“This is an opportunity for all of us in the community to share in our sadness over such events and to hope they continue to become less common over time,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.

The Canadian Labour Congress first recognized the Day of Mourning in 1984. In 1990, this day became a national observance with the passing of the Workers Mourning Day Act, and on April 28, 1991, the federal government officially proclaimed the national Day of Mourning.

News Release Document - 33Kb PDF
l Posted: Apr 23, 2014


"Open House for Patrick Nicol memorial ideas"

Public invited to open house for Patrick Nicol memorial ideas

The City of Vernon asked for suggestions from the community on a way to remember and honour Councillor Patrick Nicol—and the community has spoken. Following a survey that invited feedback from the public on the best way to memorialize Nicol, an open house to discuss those ideas is being held at City Hall on April 29 from 5 – 7 pm.

Since Nicol passed away in January, the City has received countless stories of his kindness, generosity, the love of this country, and his unwavering commitment to making Vernon a better place for everyone. Councillor Juliette Cunningham is a member of the committee that was established after Vernon residents and business people asked the City to memorialize Nicol in some manner.

"We have received some great responses for our request for ideas to honor the late Councillor Patrick Nicol,” said Cunningham, who sat next to Nicol in Council for many years. “This will be an opportunity to explore a final concept which is being proposed."

In remembering Councillor Nicol, the committee asked for suggestions that reflected Nicol’s values, could be accessed by the entire community and that built on existing infrastructure. There were many recurring themes in the survey’s responses, and Cunningham hopes for a strong showing at the open house to discuss the best ways to move these ideas forward.

News Release Document - 33Kb PDF
l Posted: Apr 23, 2014


"Annual traffic signal washing maintenance"

Beginning Monday, May 5, and lasting until Friday, June 27, traffic signal technicians will begin annual signal washing maintenance from 7:30 am to 4 pm. During this time, all intersections within Vernon, except for those on Highway 97 and Highway 6, will be occupied by the signal technicians for short durations to clean signal LEDs. The City of Vernon thanks the public for being patient, slowing down and using care when approaching an intersection occupied by City technicians.

News Release Document - 31Kb PDF
l Posted: Apr 23, 2014


"Gear up for 2014 Bike to School and Work Week"

The City of Vernon and the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) are encouraging North Okanagan residents to ride their bikes in support of the 2014 Bike to School and Work Week from May 25 to June 1. To promote the event, the City is inviting new and returning team leaders to a free information workshop on Wednesday, April 30, from 4:45 to 6:45 pm at Vernon City Hall Council Chambers. Team leaders will be provided with a number of resources, including support to register their teams on the new provincial Bike-to-Work website. The updated site includes new features that allow cyclists to plan routes online, calculate their total distance and calories burned, as well as the reduction in greenhouse gases (GHGs) from riding rather than driving to work. Along with a t-shirt and promotional package, team leaders will also be provided dinner by event sponsors, Domino’s Pizza. In 2013, more than 35 communities around B.C. participated in this event.

In the North Okanagan, 56 teams comprised of 401 riders rode a total of 12,894 kilometres, which equaled 2,991 kilograms of CO2 offsets.

To preregister for this workshop or for more information on Bike to School and Work Week, please call 250.550.3634 or visit www.vernon.ca/vernonmoves.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Apr 15, 2014

  Bike to Work Week

"Pleasant Valley Road construction to begin April 21"

Beginning the week of April 21 and continuing into the fall of 2014, Pleasant Valley Road construction from 41 Ave to 48 Ave will commence, including road reconstruction, new water main, replacement of storm and sanitary sewer piping, and new sidewalk. Work will progress in two phases: Phase I on 41 Avenue to 16 Street is planned to start on Monday, April 21, and will take approximately 12 weeks to complete; Phase II, from 16 St to 48 Ave, will last approximately eight weeks. The active construction area on Pleasant Valley Road will be closed to through-traffic but open to local residents and business traffic. Detours will be in effect for the duration of construction.

The contractor for the Pleasant Valley Road project is R355 Enterprise Ltd, the engineer is Monaghan Engineering and City of Vernon contact is Greg Thompson. For more information regarding this project please contact Monahan Engineering at 250-503-1023 or visit http://www.vernon.ca/index.php/projects/pleasant-valley-road-reconstruction.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Apr 15, 2014

 

"City of Vernon seeks public input for Parks Master Plan"

The City of Vernon is developing a Park Master Plan following the shift of management of local parks from RDNO to the City on January 1 of this year. They are asking for the public’s input in order to develop a Parks vision to manage the local parks and outdoor recreation system responsibly in Vernon.

The parks and outdoor recreation survey measuring community satisfaction and priorities is the first opportunity for many to get involved. The survey is being mailed out in upcoming utility bills and is also available online. Residents will be able to share how satisfied they are with parks and outdoor recreation in the city, including what improvements or changes they would suggest.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Apr 11, 2014


"City of Vernon streamlining internal committees of Council"

City of Vernon staff have been directed to complete a detailed review of all select and standing committees as part of the follow-up to the 2013 Core Services Review. The review, completed by KPMG, was an initiative of Council in as part of their mandate to make sound budget management a priority while protecting essential services for City residents. Council has asked staff for clarification of roles, opportunities for consolidation to reduce duplication or overlap, and possible elimination of identified committees of Council. Restructuring the City’s committees will involve folding some committees or initiatives into others. The restructuring process is expected to be completed by May 1, 2014.

“Our goal through the reorganization of Council's committee structure is to provide cost effective means of public and organization input to important policy decisions and direction for our community,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky. “However, Council and myself have tremendous appreciation and gratitude for the volunteer work of those who have sat on these committees. We will continue to be grateful for the dedication of those who gave their time to make Vernon the great city it is.”

News Release Document - 48Kb PDF
Posted: Apr 10, 2014


"Collaborative efforts bring two high-profile events to Kal Tire Place"

When Kal Tire Place’s multifunctional facilities were in demand for two high-profile events-the 2014 Okanagan Military Tattoo and the 2014 BC Junior B Lacrosse Provincials-on the same August long weekend, there were concerns that one of the events would have to be bumped to another weekend or moved to another location. However, City of Vernon’s recreation services staff worked closely with organizers from both events to come up with a solution that will allow Vernon area residents the chance to enjoy two diverse events that showcase the facility’s versatility.

“The City of Vernon Recreation Services is very pleased to see that these groups have worked with our staff in order to allow two great events to take place in August,” said Doug Ross, Director of Recreation Services. “We’re excited to have events like the inaugural Okanagan Military Tattoo and the Jr. B Lacrosse Provincials taking place in our community.”

Military Tattoo performances have a 300-year history and originated with returning militias putting on a show for the home folks. They have now evolved into military and non-military groups and individuals, and from just marching into a multi-layered, multi-ethnic music, marching, singing and dancing events. The Okanagan Military Tattoo will take place Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2.

Norm Crerar, director of the Okanagan Military Tattoo 2014, expressed his appreciation of all parties working to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement for the facilities.

“This show, with 400 performers and needing 200 volunteers, will be the biggest show of its kind to come to Vernon,” said Crerar. “We expect this event to be an annual event and just as important to Vernon as Funtastic and the Winter Carnival”.

The Vernon Tigers Lacrosse Team is hosting the BC Junior B Lacrosse Provincials, which will take place Saturday through Monday, August 2-4.

News Release Document - 36Kb PDF
Posted: Apr 9, 2014

b PDF
Posted: Apr 10, 2014

 

"Car dealer and lease operator partner with City to promote tourism in Vernon"

Watkin Motors and Marjak Leasing are supporting Tourism Vernon as the official vehicle sponsors for the organization, providing a 2014 Ford Escape - an appropriate name for a tourism vehicle-that allows visitor services to “go mobile”.

“Since we first went mobile by offering visitor services outside of our Visitor Centres in 2009, Watkin Motors and Marjak Leasing have supported us as our official vehicle sponsors,” said Michelle Jefferson, manager of Tourism Services. “During this five-year partnership, we have enjoyed three different vehicles that help Tourism Vernon respond to the changing needs for visitor services. The cars also act as moveable billboards in helping promote our services.”

The tourism vehicles are used to attend tradeshows, events and provide information at locations inside and outside of Vernon, helping to raise awareness of Vernon and our visitor services. They have also been used to provide tours to visiting media and dignitaries when they visit Vernon. The sponsorship of the vehicle also allows the department to manage overall costs.

“We are so grateful for the support of Watkin Motors and Marjak Leasing,” said Jefferson.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Apr 8, 2014

 

"Regional Paralympian medalists celebrated"

The City of Vernon and Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) are encouraging area residents to come show their support and pride for the strong showing by three regional athletes-Sonja Gaudet and Josh Dueck of Vernon and Ina Forrest of Armstrong-in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. The Celebrate our North Okanagan Paralympians event takes place April 2 from 5 to 6:30 pm at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre and is open to the public.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 31, 2014


"Speed Watch Program in Effect April 2nd"

The Speed Watch Program will be in effect starting at 7:30 am April 2nd at a school zone near you. The program operates in support of ICBC and their Road Sense initiative. The program is directly coordinated by Vernon Safe Communities Unit and is operated by RCMP Citizens Patrol volunteers throughout the Vernon area.

The purpose of the Speed Watch program is to enhance road safety and educate drivers. This is done by increasing the level of awareness surrounding the issues of unsafe speed and distracted driving and reducing the incidents of speeding by reflecting drivers speed and reinforcing the speed limit in that zone. Our trained volunteers use digital speed reader boards and a radar unit and concentrate on areas where speeding is a major hazard. Volunteers will be initially concentrating on school zones in order to keep the motoring public aware of the change in speed now that students are back in class.

News Release Document - 122Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 27, 2014


"Vernon firefighter receives Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award"

Captain Chris Kulak from the Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS), a recent recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, was recognized in a regular meeting of Vernon City Council by Mayor Rob Sawatzky and Chief Keith Green on Monday afternoon.

“One of the great privileges of my position is that I get the honour of recognizing individuals within our City who make a difference to so many people in Vernon,” said Sawatzky. “Today, I am very pleased to recognize Chris Kulak.” Kulak has volunteered and raised funds for Cancer Society, Hospice House, Salvation Army, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, the International Association of Firefighters, and the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund. In 2013, approximately $24,000 was raised through Kulak’s efforts.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 24, 2014

 

"City of Vernon seeking community suggestions to remember Patrick Nicol"

The City of Vernon is seeking suggestions from the committee on a way to remember and honour Councillor Patrick Nicol. Since Nicol passed away in January, the City has received countless stories of his kindness, generosity, love of this city and its people, and his unwavering commitment to making Vernon a better place for everyone. Councillor Juliette Cunningham is heading a committee that has opened the question of the best way to memorialize Nicol to the people of Vernon.

Cunningham sat next to Nicol in Council sessions, and fondly remembers him as a man of the people.

“He was absolutely dedicated to the individual citizen and their right to be heard and informed,” she said.

In remembering Councillor Nicol, the committee is seeking suggestions that:

• Reflect Councillor Nicol’s values;
• Can be accessed by the entire community; and
• Build on existing City infrastructure.

The City has set up an online survey to collect responses from the public. The deadline for submissions is April 11, 2014. Once all of the suggestions have been collected, an open house will be held in late April to discuss the submissions, at which point the public will be given a second opportunity to vote on selections to be brought forward.
The survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NVVJKPG.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 21, 2014


"Large community attendance at City workshop provides best routes input"

City of Vernon staff were very pleased with the turnout on March 12 at East Hill Community Church, where 47 attendees responded to an invitation to review and provide input for a Vernon “Best Routes” cycling and walking trail map. The feedback was positive, and participants were pleased to support the City’s promotion of walking and cycling within Vernon.

“The comments from this workshop will be included in the Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan, which is part of the revised Transportation Plan and Official Community Plan (OCP),” said Wendy Majewski, the coordinator of Transportation Demand Management. “Everyone was very positive and wanted to thank Mayor and Council for the ongoing efforts to promote walking and cycling. It was noticeable that participants appreciated that additional infrastructure—although desirable to make certain routes complete and fully connected-needs to be constructed in a prioritized manner and within available budgets.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 19, 2014


CrashReel

"The Crash Reel” presented by BrainTrust Canada, City of Vernon and BMO"

BrainTrust Canada, in partnership with City of Vernon and BMO, is presenting a one-time-only viewing of the documentary The Crash Reel, the story of U.S. snowboarder Kevin Pearce who sustained traumatic brain injury just weeks prior to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The presentation, which brings awareness to the serious issue of brain injury through Kevin’s story, takes place on March 25 at 7 pm at the Vernon Alliance Church in the Sanctuary, with tickets $10 and available at BMO in Vernon, smartticket.ca or at the door. The event offers festival seating and doors are open at 6 pm.

News Release Document - 33Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 13, 2014


"City updates parking meters to accept quarters, loonies and toonies."

The City of Vernon has recently replaced City parking meter mechanisms that allow the meters to accept all Canadian quarters, $1 and $2 coins. Previously, approximately 200 parking meters were not able to be modified to accept the new $1, and $2 coins minted after 2012. While the meters were marked to indicate this problem, the City recognized that this was confusing for many residents, and is committed to providing greater clarity and convenience when it comes to parking control in the downtown core and elsewhere in Vernon.

Metered parking, with a maximum time limit of 2 - 4 hours as indicated on the meter, is in effect 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday. The City’s current parking rate matches nearby cities such as Penticton and Kamloops; Kelowna recently adopted an hourly rate of $1.25. Time limitations are in effect to ensure that there is turnover of parking, and that spaces become available for new users. However, extended hourly or daily parking at reduced rates is available in the downtown Parkade, open Monday through Saturday, as well as at the City’s CSB parking lot. Free parking is available Saturdays and Sundays in the City’s CSB and 29 Avenue parking lots and the Parkade.

News Release Document - 33Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 13, 2014


"Vernon fire chief summarizes 2013 VFRS incidents and accomplishments"

Fire Chief Keith Green presented the Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) 2013 annual report to Council on Monday, March 10, 2014, and included several highlights of VFRS's significant accomplishments over the last year. Among these were unifying the firefighting force from Stations 1 and 2 into a single command structure, assuming management responsibility for the Regional Fire Training Centre, significant investment in training hours to ensure consistency within the new deployment model, and mitigation of several large-scale incidents. Furthermore, the efficacy of VFRS planning in deployment and training were proven by the department’s responses to fires at the recycling plant and landfill, as well as 37 structure fires, a large-scale hazardous material incident in downtown Vernon and the Capri Garden multi-unit apartment fires.

News Release Document - 79Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 12, 2014


"Vernon councillor calls for national dementia strategy"

VERNON, B.C.- Councillor Catherine Lord presented a motion in Council Chambers today in support of Bill C-356, and recommended that the City of Vernon join a call to all levels of government and the Federation of Municipalities to adopt a national dementia strategy in response to national figures on the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease. Included in the motion was a call to action for citizens within Canadian communities to become more aware and engaged about the far-reaching effects of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Alzheimer's disease and other dementias take a tremendous toll on hundreds of thousands of families and caregivers, and an estimated 3 million Canadians face challenges of providing care for those suffering.

News Release Document - 52Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 11, 2014


"We need to stop getting burned"

The first week of February each year is a time that the Fire Service across Canada has traditionally set aside to remind the general public that injuries caused by burns are a serious problem and, for the most part, entirely preventable. Unfortunately, burns remain a problem: the facts and numbers haven’t improved and people are still needlessly getting burned.

News Release Document - 81Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 10, 2014


"City of Vernon lifeguard supervisor recognized for saving lives"

Gary Lefebvre, the aquatic supervisor for City of Vernon Recreation Services, is being recognized by the Lifesaving Society of BC & Yukon on March 29 in Vancouver for his role in rescuing three canoeists on Kalamalka Lake last summer.

Lefebvre was playing volleyball with family on the beach of Kalamalka Lake in the evening of August 7, 2013, when he heard a faint call for help. He noticed that a trio of canoeists had capsized their vessel, so he and three Vancouver Island-based youth immediately reacted. Only one of the canoeists was wearing a personal flotation device, and none were strong swimmers. Although the canoeists were all brought safely to shore, Lefebvre said it was obvious that they were all frightened by the events, and without the intervention of Lefebvre and the three youth, the outcome might have been much worse.

News Release Document - 96Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 3, 2014


"2014 Burn permits for open burning now available"

Property owners can burn with a permit between February 28 and April 30 on properties two hectares (five acres) or over as long as they follow BC Regulation 145/93, which can be found at www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/34_145_93 and follow the regulations detailed in Bylaw 5263 on the City’s website at www.vernon.ca/images/uploads/council/bylaws/Fire_Prevention_Bylaw_5263.pdf.

News Release Document - 78Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 3, 2014


"City of Vernon explains proposed business license bylaw and fee structure"

The City of Vernon is currently reviewing its business license bylaw and fee structure and is looking for input on the proposed changes.

The City has already received a number of comments to date on the proposed changes. One common issue has been the calculation of floor area. It is important to note that these calculations are based on square metres and not feet.

News Release Document - 35Kb PDF
Posted: Mar 3, 2014


"Vernon Citizens Patrol Volunteers begin patrolling in March"

The Vernon Citizens Patrol (COP) Program, part of the City of Vernon’s Safe Communities Unit, has graduated 12 new volunteers who start patrolling the communities in Vernon starting March 1, 2014.

For over 21 years, the community-based volunteer group has helped to minimize the amount of crime occurring throughout Vernon. COP members assist the RCMP by acting as an extra set of eyes and ears while patrolling our city. Duties involve patrolling streets, business areas, parks and shopping center parking lots, and documenting suspicious activities and calling them into the RCMP. COP programs also include Speed Watch, Cell Watch and Lock-Out Auto Crime.

News Release Document - 103Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 26, 2014


"Mayor of Vernon sponsors party to celebrate hometown Olympians"

Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky is helping to celebrate Vernon’s Olympic spirit and hometown Olympians Kevin Hill (snowboard cross) and Justin Dorey (half pipe) from 3 – 6 pm on February 26, 2014 at Kal Tire Place. Sawatzky was approached by Kevin’s father, Don, and sister, Shanda, to be a sponsor of the event to welcome home Kevin, who finished 2nd in the small final of his event, placing eighth overall. (Dorey, who is unable to attend the celebration, finished 12th.) Sawatzky said he was honoured to lend his support to the occasion.

“We share the pride the community feels for the standards of Olympic sports excellence that Kevin and Justin have achieved,” said Sawatzky. “We are proud to help the community in honoring them for their dedication and for the joy their endeavors have given us.

” While many Vernonites gathered to watch the competitions as they were occurring, Shanda said it was important for Kevin to be able to personally thank the community that supported him so much.

“Kevin is a true ambassador for Vernon,” said Shanda. “He has traveled all over the world and yet he is passionately in love with Vernon and the Okanagan, and all who know him will attest to that.”

Other event sponsors include Real Canadian Superstore, Tim Horton’s, Save-On Foods, Rancho Vignola and Sure Copy. Anyone wishing to meet and congratulate Kevin, his family, and the family of Justin Dorey are welcome to attend.

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 20, 2014


"VFRS conduct confined space training"

On February 11 and 12, Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS), along with participants from Greater Vernon Water, held a two-day course in confined-space rescue as part of their annual skills maintenance training at Duteau Creek Water Treatment Facility. The course involved two different confined-space rescue scenarios. Confined spaces are defined as containing or having the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere, which may include safety or health hazards such as gaseous materials, unguarded machinery, exposed live wires heat stress.

News Release Document - 350Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 20, 2014


"Feedback asked for updated City business licensing"

Vernon business owners are being asked to review and provide feedback to the City’s proposed business license bylaw and fee structures that are being considered by Council in late March.

In September, 2013, Council directed staff to review the business license bylaw and fee structure. The existing bylaw has been in place with few revisions since 1985, and is inconsistent with current legislation, incompatible with the latest licensing software and inconsistent with future plans for on-line processes. Further, a committee comprised of City staff, a member of Council and a representative from the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce set a goal to develop regulations that were both transparent and easily understood. The proposed changes include a revised application process and fee structure as well as a shift toward fees being based on the size of the business premises.

Business owners are encouraged to review the proposed bylaw, fee schedule and other explanatory materials by visiting www.vernon.ca/services/bylaw_enforcement/ doc/PP_Business_Licence_Bylaw_Review_Presentation.pdf. Comments can be directed to Council’s attention before March 14, 2014, via email (tmuska@vernon.ca) or by mailing Business Licensing, 3001 32 Avenue, Vernon, B.C., V1T 2L8.

News Release Document - 59Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 17, 2014


"City of Vernon Council supports initial proposal for Celebrity Sports Invitational"

Tourism Vernon, with the support Mayor and Council of the City of Vernon, will provide $50,000 to support the organizational requirements of the 2014 Celebrity Sports Invitational in September of this year. Tourism Vernon was asked to be the initial local supporter for a proposal to secure the event.

Celebrity Sports Invitational is a made-for-TV event that partners with Robert Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization that raises funds for the protection of rivers, lakes, bays and streams on six continents. The four-day event has taken place in other notable locations including Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta, as well as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. These events have previously been attended by high-profile celebrities such as Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta Jones, Michael Douglas, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close and Robin Williams. The event is filmed for a one-hour syndicated show for network television in North America (180 stations including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox TV) as well as a one-hour special on Fox Sports Net. Canadian media outlets also attend the event for features on Entertainment Tonight, Canada AM, E Canada and The Insider.

News Release Document - 33Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 13, 2014


"Media Are Invited To Project Save-A-Life"

Media are invited to attend Silver Star Rotary “Project Save-A-Life” Mass CPR Training in conjunction with Vernon Fire Rescue Services.
Date: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Address: Clarence Fulton Secondary School (Front Entrance)
2301 Fulton Road, Vernon

News Release Document - 75Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 13, 2014


"City of Vernon commitment to health and safety recognized by WorkSafeBC"

The City of Vernon’s commitment to safety is being acknowledged by the WorkSafeBC (WSBC) Certificate of Recognition (COR) program in conjunction with their certifying partner the BC Municipal Safety Association and will result in the City receiving up to $50,000 in annual incentive payments for three years to support the further improvement of worker health and safety practices within the City.

“This is a great achievement for the City, considering it is one of only 31 local governments and naturally aligned organizations to achieve COR across British Columbia,” said City of Vernon Health and Safety Coordinator Clay Fredin. “It highlights the level of commitment and continuous improvement towards health and safety in the work place that City employees demonstrate at all levels throughout the organization.”

News Release Document - 34Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 11, 2014


"City of Vernon Director of Financial Services receives Canadian Award for Financial Reporting"

Today during a regular open meeting in Council Chambers, Kevin Bertles, the Director of Financial Services for the City, received a Canadian Award for Financial Reporting Achievement from Mayor Rob Sawatzky on behalf of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). Bertles was given the honour as the individual designated as primarily responsible for preparing an award-winning financial report—the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting—that The City of Vernon received for its annual financial report for the 2012 fiscal year. This is the fourth year in a row the City has been received the distinction.

News Release Document - 106Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 11, 2014


"Vernon ambassadors sought for 2014 Sister City Tour to Europe"

The City of Vernon Sister Cities Committee is inviting members of the public interested in becoming Vernon ambassadors to join a 14-day adventure to Europe leaving on September 19, 2014.

Visits will be made to Vernon’s sister cities Tavullia, Italy, and Frankenburg, Austria, with a special stop at the Swarovski Crystal Factory in Innsbruck, Austria. Other stops include Vienna, Venice, Florence and Rome and will feature a gondola ride with dinner, theatre shows, visits to museums and galleries, a visit to Vatican City and much more. The tour also includes 20 meals, step-on city guides, a bilingual tour escort, centrally located hotels and service of a coach and driver.

Those interested should contact Georgia Atwood at Carlson Wagonlit Travel 250-558-1010 for a detailed schedule and further information.

Photos: Swarovski Crystal Factor in Innsbruck – Edgar Marscopp photo Frankenberg landscape photos Courtesy Gunther Zierler

News Release Document - 32Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 6, 2014


"Signage changed around schools and playgrounds in Vernon"

VERNON, B.C. - The City of Vernon and the RCMP are asking drivers to pay close attention to the signs in and around local schools and playgrounds within the city, as signs around schools such as BX Elementary and Ellison have recently changed. There is a new process in place, following national standards, to determine which roads around schools and playgrounds do and do not have posted 30-kilometre speed limits. Using this new process, the City will review signs around all schools and playgrounds over the next two years.

News Release Document - 46Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 6, 2014


"Vernon residents and elected officials gather to remember city councillor"

Memorial services for City of Vernon Councillor Patrick Nicol were held today at Trinity United Church, with satellite services at Kal Tire Place and The Schubert Centre. Nicol passed away on January 15 after a long battle with cancer. Approximately 1,000 people attended the services across the city. There were many regional officials in attendance, including Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster, Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick, Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper, Enderby Mayor Cyr Howie, Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton, Spallumcheen Mayor Janic Brown, Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) Chair Rick Fairbairn and RDNO CAO Trafford Hall, as well as Vernon city councillors Juliette Cunningham, Brian Quiring and Catherine Lord.

News Release Document - 35Kb PDF
Posted: Feb 3, 2014


"City prepares for Councillor’s memorial services"

The City of Vernon is working with the family of Councillor Patrick Nicol and Trinity United Church for the memorial service that is to take place at 2 pm on Monday, February 3rd. In order to accommodate additional public parking, the right-hand driving lanes on Alexis Park Drive between 30th Avenue and 39th Avenue will be closed to use on Monday between 1 pm and 4:30 pm.

The City is requesting the public’s co-operation in reducing congestion and increasing safety by avoiding the Alexis Park Drive area during this time period. Bylaw officers along with Community Policing volunteers and staff will be on hand to direct traffic.

Because of the limited parking spaces at Trinity United Church, street parking will be accommodated and drop-off areas will be provided at the church. There is limited seating at the church, so a live video feed of the service will also be held at Kal Tire Place and The Schubert Centre.

News Release Document - 32 Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 30, 2014


"City supports governance model study for Greater Vernon"

Today, during the Regular Open Meeting for the City of Vernon, Mayor and Council resolved to support the recommendation of the Greater Vernon Governance Society in asking the Province to undertake a restructure study for Greater Vernon. Council moved to support a request to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to commence a fact-finding study to determine the most efficient and cost-effective governance model, including the current model, specific to the Greater Vernon Area. Additionally, it was moved that that the Mayor write to the District of Coldstream and the Directors of Electoral Areas B and C to encourage supporting the request to the Ministry in order to have a thorough and independent analysis of governance models and costs.

News Release Document - 161Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 29, 2014


1"Memorial services planned for Councillor Patrick Nicol"

Memorial services for City of Vernon Councillor Patrick Nicol will take place on from 2:00 – 3:30 on Monday, February 3, 2014, at Trinity United Church in Vernon, B.C. Because of the expectation that a large number of residents will wish to pay their respects to Nicol and his family--and because the church can only seat 900 people—the City is also looking at the possibility of providing satellite locations with a live video feed of the services.

The City hopes to confirm these locations early next week. Nicol was first elected as councillor in 1985 and was well known for his dedication to the citizens of Vernon and his passion for bringing their voices forward to Council. He passed away on January 15 after a long battle with cancer.

“It is an honor to represent Vernon citizens,” Nicol had written for his bio on the City's website. “Equally, it has been a team effort because the best ideas frequently are produced by the citizens I represent.”

News Release Document - 97Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 23, 2014


1"2014 Budget approved by Council"

The 2014 Financial Plan presented to the Mayor and Council of the City of Vernon was approved today after three days of presentations by all City departments. The final budget has an overall increase of 3.1 per cent, which is inclusive of a 1.9 per cent capital expenditures increase as well as a 1.2 per cent increase for operating expenses and service changes, below Council’s budget goals of a maximum increase of 1.8 per cent.

News Release Document - 151Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 20, 2014


1"City of Vernon Councillor Nicol remembered by colleagues"

Mayor and Council for the City of Vernon remembered their colleague, Patrick Nicol, who passed away on Wednesday evening at age 64 after a long battle with cancer. In the final session of the City’s budget presentations on Friday morning, Nicol’s customary seat was empty but marked with two single roses, one red and one white, as a poignant reminder of the dignified man who was first elected as councillor in 1985.The session opened with a minute of silence to observe Nicol's long years of service and friendship.

News Release Document - 37Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 17, 2014


1"City saddened by Councillor’s death"

It is with great sadness that Mayor Robert Sawatzky, City Council colleagues and staff at the City of Vernon recognize the passing of councillor Patrick Nicol.
His length of service on Council was amongst the longest of any Councillor in our province. His dedication to his community was a foundation of his life and work. We will all greatly miss his wisdom and kindness, as well as his efforts to make his community a better place. He acted with dignity and respect for others and we, the members of his family at the City of Vernon, extend our condolences to his family and friends.

News Release Document - 49Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 16, 2014


1"Vernon City Council budget review ahead of schedule, on target for financial goals"

City of Vernon 2014 Financial Plan presentations concluded ahead of schedule in Council Chambers on Wednesday. Operating budgets for the City’s Fire Rescue Services, RCMP, Operation Services, Recreation Services, Community Development, Engineering and GIS, Human Resources, Corporate Services, Finance and Administration were all delivered and accepted by Council, with capital and change requests to be reviewed following the public input session at 11 am on Thursday, January 16.

News Release Document - 148Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 16, 2014


1"Recruiting Begins for February Intake of Vernon Citizens Patrol Candidates"

The RCMP Citizens Patrol (COP) program is recruiting now to train new volunteer candidates in the classroom February 18 to 20, 2014, in Vernon. For more than 20 years, this community-based volunteer group has helped to minimize the amount of crime occurring throughout Vernon. COP volunteers are extra eyes and ears for the Vernon/North Okanagan RCMP. The program provides a valuable crime prevention service to our community.

News Release Document - 292Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 13, 2014


1"Recreation Services, RCMP and Bylaw Officers take action on teen dance"

City of Vernon By-law officers and RCMP attended the Vernon Recreation Centre late in the evening on Saturday, January 11, 2014, because of reports of intoxicated youth at an event run by a third-party company based in Toronto. The agreement between the organizers and Recreation Services stipulated that the event, scheduled to run from 9 pm until 12 am, would be a high school student, alcohol-free dance.

News Release Document - 88Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 13, 2014


1"Vernon City Council to review 2014 budget, public input invited"

VERNON, B.C. - The proposed 2014-2018 Financial Plan for the City of Vernon will be on the agenda for three special regular council meetings: Wednesday, January 15 at 9 am, Thursday, January 16 at 11 am, and Friday, January 17 at 9 am. The meetings will be held in Council Chambers at City Hall, with opportunity for public input at 11 am each day. The goal for the plan is to meet Council’s commitment to “looking after our house,” and offers a roadmap for providing professional, efficient and economical services to the citizens of Vernon while recognizing budgetary realities.

News Release Document - 153Kb PDF
Posted: Jan 9, 2014



RDNO Greater Vernon Water Coldstream City of Vernon, BC City of Vernon, BC