An alternative approval process on borrowing for a new Vernon Search and Rescue building, will get underway this month.
Regional District of North Okanagan directors have set the dates for receiving elector responses from July 25 to September 18.
“The first advertisement is proposed for July 25 in the Vernon Morning Star,” says RDNO Corporate Officer Paddy Juniper. “The Directors wanted to ensure there was plenty of time to permit persons that may be away on vacation to participate in the AAP if they wish before the process concludes.”
Board Chair Bob Fleming says the end is two weeks later than staff had recommended, which he says will get it done well before the municipal elections in October.
“There was some concern that we’re holding an AAP, and then a month or six weeks later, we’re having an election, but I think it stands on it own, and hopefully people will be supportive.”
Ten percent of the 68,327 RDNO electors — or 6,833 people — have to oppose the borrowing for the process to be defeated.
Sign elector responses will be accepted by mail, email, fax, or in person at the RDNO office in Coldstream.
RDNO plans to borrow up to 3.5 million dollars for a new site and building for the search group.
It is estimated that the annual impact to a North Okanagan home assessed at $400,000 would be slightly less than $5 per year over 20 years.
Fleming says there’s a number of site options being looked at, some which could lower the cost.
“Obviously we want to make sure search and rescue gets the appropriate location, but at the same time, it’s an area where we think there could be some opportunities for savings,” Fleming tells Beach Radio News.
Mark Forsyth, Director and Search Manager with Vernon Search and Rescue says VSAR is incredibly excited the Regional District is moving forward with the project as their current space is woefully inadequate.
“A new, purpose-built facility will provide Search and Rescue with the space required for our equipment so that we can respond quickly when required, as well as provide space for critical training for our volunteers.”