Kin and Sandy beaches on Okanagan Lake should be kept clean under a new agreement between the City of Vernon and the Okanagan Indian Band.
The deal includes maintenance of Sandy Beach which is the band’s property.
Kin Beach is in the city’s jurisdiction.
“The agreement will ensure that Sandy Beach will be maintained to the same standard as Kin Beach. The term of the agreement is from August 1 to October 31, 2018. While this is an interim solution for this season only, our three governments have agreed to continue working together to find sound solutions to the benefit of all our residents,” says a City news release.
“This agreement is not only important in ensuring the beaches are clean and safe for the public, but has also helped build stronger relationships between our communities,” says Chief Byron Louis.
Mayor Akbal Mund says the city wants to move forward and mitigate any issues at the site.
“The users of this land, the general public, they don’t see a boundary, there is not boundary, so if we can keep it clean and work together, that’s what we’re here for.”
Mund says it’s a similar agreement to what they had before.
“There was a hiccup with the cost, and that was it, so I don’t know what the cost is, but it’s relatively minor, and at least it provides a clean area for the general public to use.”
Sandy Beach has been the target of complaints about its lack of cleanliness.
It’s also where a woman stepped on a discarded drug needle last month.
Mund says recent complaints about the beach were not likely a big factor in the agreement.
“Would the complaints have helped? If you ask me, maybe they did, just to facilitate it faster, but at the same time, we’ve been talking (for some time) about getting it done.”
“The Okanagan Lake waterfront is a valuable resource for residents and visitors alike,” said Bob Fleming, Electoral Area “B” Director and RDNO chair. “We all have an vested interest in ensuring that parks are as inviting as possible.”