Active Living Centre Referendum

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REFERENDUM RESULTS

ACTIVE LIVING CENTRE REFERENDUM

NUMBER OF VOTES



YES

5121*

NO

3282


Media Release

*The number of votes reported for ‘Yes’ was underreported by 100 votes. The total has been updated to reflect a vote tally of 5121 for ‘Yes’. The update does not materially change the outcome of the Active Living Centre Referendum.

INTRODUCTION

On April 11, 2022, City Council directed Administration to move forward with a City of Vernon referendum, in conjunction with the 2022 Local Government Election, for the Active Living Centre; a multi-purpose indoor recreation facility intended to enhance the quantity and quality of the

REFERENDUM RESULTS

ACTIVE LIVING CENTRE REFERENDUM

NUMBER OF VOTES



YES

5121*

NO

3282


Media Release

*The number of votes reported for ‘Yes’ was underreported by 100 votes. The total has been updated to reflect a vote tally of 5121 for ‘Yes’. The update does not materially change the outcome of the Active Living Centre Referendum.

INTRODUCTION

On April 11, 2022, City Council directed Administration to move forward with a City of Vernon referendum, in conjunction with the 2022 Local Government Election, for the Active Living Centre; a multi-purpose indoor recreation facility intended to enhance the quantity and quality of the following types of recreation facilities for the Vernon area:

  • indoor aquatics
  • community gymnasiums
  • fitness and walking spaces
  • dedicated program spaces

The proposed facility, its amenities, and location are the result of recommendations made in the 2018 Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan and the subsequent Active Living Centre Feasibility Study. Both the Recreation Master Plan and the Feasibility Study were informed by extensive engagement processes with the public, stakeholders, and elected officials.

The goal of the Active Living Centre project is: to find an indoor facility mix that meets the current and future needs of a growing community, while also having the opportunity to attract new residents and visitors to the Greater Vernon area.

The project supports Council's strategic priorities and was supported unanimously by Vernon City Council.

___________________________________________________________________

WHAT'S NEXT?

On October 15, 2022, Vernon electors will be asked if they are in favour of borrowing up to $121 million, with interest, over a period not exceeding 30 years in order to finance the development of an Active Living Centre.

To help electors make an informed decision, based on accurate, fact-based information, the City of Vernon has developed this webpage and a comprehensive communication strategy to share details of the project; the proposed funding strategy and impact for Vernon taxpayers; how the proposed facility would help meet the current and future indoor recreation needs of our community; reasons for the recommendation to build a multi-purpose recreation facility; and when, where, and how electors can vote. The City will also use this webpage to answer questions from the public.

Between August 16 - October 14, 2022, City staff will also be attending various community events and hosting pop-up information booths at sites located across Vernon, to share information in a casual, face-to-face setting, and give members of the public a chance to review material and conceptual drawings, ask questions, and get answers in real time. Please see the key dates listed on the right side of this webpage for event details.

We encourage you to visit these information booths and chat with staff to learn more about the proposed facility, its amenities, and what the project would mean for Vernon taxpayers.

Authorized by The City of Vernon, sponsor under LECFA, dross@vernon.ca

___________________________________________________________________

WAYS TO VOTE

General Voting Day for the Active Living Centre Referendum is Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Voting locations will be as follows:

  • Vernon Recreation Centre (3310 37th Avenue)
  • Fulton Secondary School (2301 Fulton Road)
  • Vernon Secondary School (2100 15th Street)

Advance voting is available between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the following days:

  • Wednesday, October 5: Schubert Centre (3505 30th Avenue)
  • Wednesday, October 12: Vernon City Hall, Council Chambers (3400 30th Street)
  • Thursday, October 13: Vernon City Hall, Council Chambers (3400 30th Street)


WHO CAN VOTE

RESIDENTS

You can vote in a referendum in Vernon if you meet all of the following criteria. You are:

  • able to provide proof of residency within the City of Vernon;
  • 18 years of age or older on the day of voting;
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • a resident of British Columbia for at least six months prior to voting day (April 14, 2022);
  • Are not disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election.
  • Voter registration is done at the time of voting.

NON-RESIDENTS

You must provide proof of ownership of the property for which are voting and you meet all of the following requirements. You are:

  • 18 years of age or older on the day of voting;
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • a resident of British Columbia for at least six months prior to voting day (April 14, 2022);
  • a registered owner of real property in the City of Vernon for at least 30 days immediately before voting day (September 14, 2022);
  • not disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election.
  • If there is more than one person on title for the property, you must provide written permission from the majority of property owners authorizing you as the sole individual to vote for that property.


VOTING PROCESS

To vote in the referendum, visit any voting location on an Advance or General Voting Day, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and present two pieces of identification*. View the list of acceptable pieces of ID from Elections BC.

*Please note: the combined BC Driver's Licence and BC Care Card will be considered as ONE piece of ID.

  • Did you know - updated weekly

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    Since 2020, the City has been collecting frequently asked questions regarding the proposed Active Living Centre and the referendum process. Answers to these questions are available under the FAQ tab of this webpage, but we are also providing the information on the City's social media channels each week with a "Did you know...?" feature. As the social media posts are shared, they will also be added to the news feed section of this webpage.


    Want to find us on social media? You can follow the City on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn using the handle @CityofVernon.

    Did you know - October 13

    Eligible voters in Vernon can vote between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. at any of the following locations:

    • Vernon Recreation Centre Auditorium (3310 37th Avenue)
    • Fulton Secondary School (2301 Fulton Road)
    • ️Vernon Secondary School (2100 15th Street)

    Voting is open to residents of all types, including property owners and those who rent. Voter registration takes place at the time of voting. Remember to bring two (2) pieces of identification.

    Did you know - October 6

    There are multiple major facilities in our community that were developed through a referendum process.

    Kal Tire Place (1999), Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre (1999), Greater Vernon Athletics Park (2013), and Kal Tire Place North (2015) all exist due to referendums.

    Did you know - September 29

    The features and amenities within the proposed Active Living Centre are the result extensive public and stakeholder input.

    The Active Living Centre Feasibility Study was conducted between October 2019 and April 2020. The Feasibility Study included a comprehensive public and stakeholder engagement process to ensure the proposed facility reflects what the public asked for, meets the current and future needs of residents, and also has the opportunity to attract new residents and visitors to the area.

    Specific engagement activities that took place during the Feasibility Study included: an Elected Officials workshop; a direct mail random sample survey; an open house; three online surveys – one of which specifically sought input from youth; six focus groups; 10 pop-up events; and 21 stakeholder groups.

    Did you know - September 22

    The proposed Active Living Centre includes several dry land spaces to serve a growing community.

    Currently, Vernon has two public gymnasiums; the Dogwood Gym and the Priest Valley Gym, which are used at or near capacity year-round for volleyball leagues, drop-in sports, camps, afterschool programs, playschool activities and public rentals.

    If electors vote in favour of the referendum question, a double gymnasium in the Active Living Centre would significantly increase the amount of available public gym space and recreation opportunities for the community.

    The 150m walking/running track, which would be located above the gymnasium, would offer participants Vernon’s first indoor synthetic walking surface.

    The 80-station fitness centre would feature cardio equipment, resistance machines and free weights. Dedicated multi-purpose rooms would provide space for a variety of activities such as fitness classes, dance classes, general interest programs, and children’s programming.

    Did you know - September 15

    The aquatics area of the proposed Active Living Centre includes a 50m pool with 2 movable bulkheads.

    A bulkhead is a structure that can separate a pool into different sections. With 2 movable bulkheads, a 50m pool can be separated into 2 x 25m sections or 3 areas of varying size (e.g., 12.5m, 12.5m, 25m). If built, this functionality would provide increased aquatic programming opportunities.

    As an example: lane swimming could be taking place in one area of the pool, while the other areas are set up for public swim, aquatic exercises, or swim lessons.

    Based on extensive public and stakeholder engagement, having a 50m pool with movable bulkheads would provide the desired goal of accommodating the everyday aquatic needs of the community while also having the ability to host events.

    Did you know - September 8

    The City of Vernon is committed to seeking grants, donations and naming rights revenues, as opportunities arise, to reduce the overall cost of the proposed Active Living Centre project and the impact for taxpayers.

    Recently, the City applied for a grant of up to $6 million through the Canada Community Building Fund in British Columbia. If electors vote in favour of the referendum question and if the grant application is successful, the funds can be used toward the planning, design, and construction of the facility.

    According to the grant administrator, information on the status of the City’s application is not expected to be available until the end of 2022 or the start of 2023.

    Did you know - September 1

    If the proposed Active Living Centre is built, it will be located at Kin Race Track Athletic Park, adjacent to Kal Tire Place.

    Based on extensive public input during the #ActiveLivingCentre Feasibility Study, a single, multi-purpose recreation facility is the preferred option. It is estimated that $300,000 can be saved annually by operating one aquatic facility with a 50m pool instead of 2 separate 25m pools in different locations. By building the facility adjacent to Kal Tire Place, additional cost savings and increased energy efficiencies can be realized by taking advantage of heat recapture technology; using the heat loss from the arenas to assist in heating the new facility.

    Did you know - August 25

    The proposed Active Living Centre is the result of extensive public consultation regarding the indoor recreation needs of residents in the Vernon area.

    In 2018, Greater Vernon Recreation Services conducted a consultation process with the public, stakeholders, and elected officials in order to develop the Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan. One of the Master Plan's many recommendations was to enhance the quantity and quality of local recreation facilities, including: indoor aquatics, community gymnasiums, dedicated program spaces and fitness/walking spaces.

    In 2020, the Active Living Centre Feasibility Study was completed, which also included extensive engagement and consultation with the public, stakeholders and elected officials.

    Through that consultation process, a preferred option was identified, to build a single multi-purpose recreation facility - the Active Living Centre.

    The proposed facility includes a new aquatic centre which features a 50m pool with two moveable bulkheads, a leisure pool, hot tubs and sauna, an 80-station fitness centre, a 150m synthetic walking/running track, and dedicated program spaces.

  • Question of the Week - updated weekly

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    Since 2020, the City has been collecting frequently asked questions regarding the proposed Active Living Centre and the referendum process. Answers to these questions are available under the FAQ tab of this webpage, but we are also providing the information on the City's social media channels each week with a "Question of the Week." As the social media posts are shared, they will also be added to the news feed section of this webpage.


    Want to find us on social media? You can follow the City on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn using the handle @CityofVernon.


    Question of the Week - October 11

    Q: What will happen to the Vernon Aquatic Centre after the referendum on October 15?

    A: The existing Vernon Aquatic Centre is funded through the Greater Vernon Recreation Facilities and Programming Service Agreement with the District of Coldstream and RDNO Electoral Areas B and C. If electors vote in favour of the referendum question, the City of Vernon will be in discussions with the District of Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C as to the future of the existing Aquatic Centre.

    The Active Living Centre Feasibility Study recommends the existing aquatic centre be decommissioned and repurposed if a new facility is opened. Here is the proposed project timeline for the development of the Active Living Centre:

    • Winter 2022: Project RFP process to get begin
    • Spring 2023: Final planning and design process to begin (including further public consultation)
    • Summer 2024: Construction to begin
    • Fall 2026: Construction to be completed and facility to open

    If electors vote against the referendum question, the proposed facility will not be constructed. The Vernon Aquatic Centre will remain in its current size and configuration and will continue to be maintained as reasonably possible on a regular maintenance schedule. Issues from aging infrastructure will continue to be addressed when they arise. The same type and number of aquatic programs that are offered today will continue as there is no ability to expand aquatic program capacity.

    Question of the Week - October 3

    Q: I will be out of town on October 15, 2022. How else can I vote in the Active Living Centre Referendum?

    A: Advance voting is available between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the following days:

    • Wednesday, October 5: Schubert Centre (3505 30th Avenue)
    • Wednesday, October 12: Vernon City Hall, Council Chambers (3400 30th Street)
    • Thursday, October 13: Vernon City Hall, Council Chambers (3400 30th Street)

    Question of the Week - September 27

    Q: If the proposed Active Living Centre is built, will user fees be the same for all participants?

    A: No. If electors in Vernon vote in favour of the referendum question, a differential fee structure will be created. User fees will be discounted for City of Vernon taxpayers, who will also be able to register for programs and classes one week before people who do not contribute through their taxes. This is a significant benefit to Vernon taxpayers, as programs (like swim lessons) are often at or near capacity. City of Vernon taxpayers will also be eligible for the Affordable Access Pass for those individuals who are financially disadvantaged.

    Individuals and families from jurisdictions that do not contribute to the facility through their taxes will be able to pay an annual ‘membership’ fee in order to access the discounted fee structure.

    Jurisdictions that wish all of their citizens to have access to the discounted user fee can enter into a Fee for Service Agreement with the City of Vernon.

    Question of the Week - September 20

    Q: Why don’t the conceptual drawings for the Active Living Centre feature more fixed aquatic play structures?

    A: The proposed aquatics facility does not include permanent fixed amenities such as a wave pool or wave rider, which tend to lose public appeal after time and can be expensive to maintain. Instead, the recommendation is to use primarily portable play features to provide versatility for aquatic programming and have the ability to host 25m and 50m swim competitions.

    Familiar features such as slides, interactive sprays, bubblers, a rock-climbing wall, water walking mat and rope swing can easily offer play opportunities, along with more dynamic portable amenities such as a floating Wibit or Ninjacross course that can be used on a rotational basis.

    If electors vote in favour of the referendum question, another round of public engagement will take place during the design phase to help inform the final design of the facility, including what play features will be included in the pool.

    Question of the Week - September 14

    Q: How would the Active Living Centre meet the everyday indoor recreation needs of the community?

    A: Based on extensive public input, there is a need to enhance the quantity and quality of indoor recreation facilities for the Vernon area. The proposed Active Living Centre is a multi-purpose facility that features a variety of wet and dry land spaces for many different types of users who are looking to participate in organized and casual sport and recreation activities. It is an inclusive, family-oriented facility designed for participants of all ages and abilities.

    The aquatics area (which includes a 50m pool with two moveable bulkheads, a leisure pool, hot tubs and sauna) would offer more space, time and opportunities to provide high-demand aquatic programming such as swimming lessons, public swimming, lane swimming, aquatic fitness, aquatic therapy uses and competitive swimming.

    The double gymnasium with multiple sport courts would increase the amount of available public gym space and the 150m walking/running track would offer Vernon’s first indoor synthetic walking surface. Additionally, the Active Living Centre includes an 80-station fitness centre with cardio equipment, resistance machines and free weights, and dedicated program spaces that could accommodate various activities such as fitness classes, courses, and children’s programming.

    Question of the Week - September 5

    Q: What is the financial impact for Vernon taxpayers, if the proposed Active Living Centre is developed?

    A: If electors vote in favour of the referendum question, the first property tax increase related to the Active Living Centre project is expected to take place in 2024, with the following schedule:

    • 2024: 3.5% increase for debt repayment
    • 2025: 3.5% increase for debt repayment
    • 2026: 3.5% increase for debt repayment + 0.4% increase for facility operating costs*
    • 2027: 3.0% increase for debt repayment + 0.9% increase for facility operating costs
    *If built, the Active Living Centre is expected to be open in the Fall of 2026, thus requiring additional funds for operating costs.

    No more property tax increases are expected after 2027 for the purpose of repaying the debt to develop the Active Living Centre facility.

    To reduce the amount of money the City would have to borrow for the project, and to reduce the impact for Vernon taxpayers, the City is also actively pursuing major grant funding for the planning, design, and construction of the facility.

    Question of the Week - August 29

    Q: What is the Active Living Centre?

    A: The Active Living Centre is a multi-purpose recreation facility with a mix of wet and dry land amenities intended to enhance the quantity and quality of indoor recreation facilities in the Vernon area.

    The proposed facility includes:

    • a 50m pool with two moveable bulkheads (allows option to divide the pool into 3 activity areas or 2 x 25m swim areas)
    • a leisure pool
    • hot tubs
    • sauna and steam room
    • a double gymnasium with multiple sport courts
    • an 80-station fitness centre
    • a 150m synthetic walking/running track
    • multi-purpose activity and program spaces

    Question of the Week - August 22

    Q: Why is the City of Vernon holding a referendum on October 15th?

    A: The City of Vernon is asking the public to approve the borrowing of up to $121 million to plan, design and construct a new multi-purpose indoor recreation facility called the Active Living Centre. The facility would be located at Kin Race Track Athletic Park (3501 43rd Avenue). The Province of British Columbia requires public approval of long-term borrowing.

  • Media release: upcoming public info sessions

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    29 Aug 2022

    On Saturday, October 15, eligible voters in Vernon will go to the polls for the Active Living Centre Referendum in conjunction with the 2022 General Local Election.

    To help voters make a well-informed decision for the referendum question, information booths will be set up throughout the community over the next several weeks to give members of the public an opportunity to talk directly with Greater Vernon Recreation Services staff, learn about the project, and review material together.

    “We want to provide as many ways as possible for people to get information about the project, why the facility is being proposed for the community, and what would be included,” said Doug Ross, Director, Recreation Services. “Information booths are being set up so residents can see the conceptual drawings, learn about the funding strategy and impact for taxpayers, ask questions, and get answers in real time.”

    Information regarding voter eligibility and voting dates, times, and locations will also be available at the information booths.

    Upcoming events and pop-up information booths

    Date

    LOCATION

    START

    END

    • Sept 1

    2900 Plaza Downtown Sounds

    6:00 pm

    7:30 pm

    • Sept 2

    Polson Artisan Night Market

    3:30 pm

    7:30 pm

    • Sept 9

    Polson Artisan Night Market

    3:30 pm

    7:30 pm

    • Sept 17

    Vernon Seniors’ Fair at Polson Park

    10:00 am

    3:00 pm

    • Sept 23

    Culture Days at Polson Park

    10:00 am

    9:00 pm

    • Sept 24

    Village Green Shopping Centre

    10:00 am

    6:00 pm

    • Sept 24

    Vernon Vipers hockey game

    6:00 pm

    8:00 pm

    • Sept 25

    Village Green Shopping Centre

    11:00 am

    5:00 pm





    • Oct 1

    Vernon Recreation Centre

    9:00 am

    4:00 pm

    • Oct 1

    Vernon Fall Home Show

    10:00 am

    5:00 pm

    • Oct 2

    Vernon Recreation Centre

    9:30 am

    4:00 pm

    • Oct 2

    Vernon Fall Home Show

    10:00 am

    4:00 pm

    • Oct 6

    Vernon Farmers’ Market

    8:00 am

    1:00 pm

    • Oct 7

    Vernon Vipers hockey game

    7:00 pm

    9:00 pm

    • Oct 8

    Village Green Shopping Centre

    10:00 am

    6:00 pm

    • Oct 8

    Vernon Vipers hockey game

    6:00 pm

    8:00 pm

    • Oct 9

    Village Green Shopping Centre

    11:00 am

    5:00 pm

    • Oct 12

    Recreation Centre open house

    5:00 pm

    8:00 pm

    • Oct 13

    Vernon Farmers’ Market

    8:00 am

    1:00 pm

    • Oct 14

    Vernon Vipers hockey game

    7:00 pm

    9:00 pm

    **Please note admission fees may apply at community events**

    “The Active Living Centre referendum is a community-based decision and every voice matters,” said Ross. “Your vote is your voice. Therefore, we encourage all Vernon residents to learn about the project, consider your options, and participate in the referendum on October 15th.”

    Information about the Active Living Centre referendum can also be found online anytime at www.engagevernon.ca/activelivingcentre.

    If you have questions about the above information, please contact Doug Ross, Director, Recreation Services, at dross@vernon.ca.

    -30-

  • Media release: Community aquatic needs

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    On October 15, 2022, eligible voters in Vernon will be asked if they are in favour of borrowing up to $121 million for the purpose of developing the Active Living Centre – a new multi-purpose indoor recreation facility.

    The proposed facility includes a new aquatic centre and dry land spaces such as: a double gymnasium with multiple sport courts; an 80-station fitness centre; a 150m synthetic walking/running track; and multi-purpose activity and program spaces.

    To help voters make a well-informed decision, the City of Vernon is offering detailed information about the project and the referendum process through a series of weekly media releases leading up to general voting day on October 15.

    What amenities are included in the proposed Active Living Centre aquatic area?

    • 50m x 8 lane pool with 2 movable bulkheads
    • Spring diving boards (1m and 3m)
    • a leisure pool with play features, accessible entry, and 3 x 25m lanes
    • Steam room and sauna
    • Hot tubs
    • On-deck viewing
    • Pool support areas (i.e., change rooms, storage, spectator seating)

    Photo above: a conceptual drawing of the leisure pool area.

    What are the aquatic needs of the community, based on public consultation?

    Currently, the Vernon Aquatic Centre features a 25m x 8 lane swimming pool, a leisure pool, and hot tubs. Based on the results of the 2018 Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan and needs assessment, an additional 25m of indoor water is needed to appropriately serve the current and future aquatics needs of Vernon and the surrounding area.

    During the Active Living Centre Feasibility Study, the public indicated its preferred option to attain more indoor water is to have a single aquatic centre with a 50m pool, rather than having two 25m pools in different locations.

    “The Vernon Aquatic Centre puts a priority on Learn to Swim programs to ensure children in our community are safer around our surrounding lakes,” said Doug Ross, Director, Recreation Services. “Because more of the Aquatic Centre’s available water and pool time is dedicated to Learn to Swim programs, the ability to offer public swimming time is limited.”

    Last Sunday (August 21), registration opened for Fall and Winter programming through Greater Vernon Recreation Services. Within the first 24 hours, most swim lesson programs were full and had full waitlists.

    If electors vote in favour of the referendum question, an additional 25m of indoor water would become available in the community by Fall 2026, offering the ability to have more swim lesson capacity and multiple programs happening at the same time throughout the day (such as Learn to Swim programs and public swimming), rather than having to choose to offer just one at a time. This is because of the double bulkhead design of the 50m pool, which would allow for various configurations of the pool, such as 2 x 25m swim areas or 3 programmable sections.

    Photo above: A conceptual drawing of the 50m pool with two bulkheads moved to create three separate programmable areas.

    How could the proposed aquatic centre accommodate the everyday needs of the community and the ability to host events?

    The proposed aquatic facility does not include fixed amenities such as a wave pool or wave rider, which may lose public appeal after time.

    Instead, the recommendation is to include features such as a rock-climbing wall, water walking mat and rope swing, along with portable amenities such as a floating Wibit or Ninja course that can be brought out on a rotational basis.

    This approach would provide versatility within the aquatic centre, while still offering the ability to host 25m and 50m swim competitions.

    Photo above: a conceptual drawing of the 50m pool with full lane swimming.

    What is the plan for the existing Vernon Aquatic Centre site if the Active Living Centre is approved?

    The existing Vernon Aquatic Centre is funded through the Greater Vernon Recreation Facilities and Programming Service Agreement, with the District of Coldstream and Regional District of North Okanagan Electoral Areas B and C. Should Vernon electors vote in favour of the referendum and the Active Living Centre be built, the City of Vernon will be in discussions with the District of Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C as to the future of the existing Aquatic Centre.

    The Active Living Centre Feasibility Study recommends that if the Active Living Centre is built, the existing Vernon Aquatic Centre be decommissioned.

    Where can I find more information?

    Visit www.engagevernon.ca/activelivingcentre to learn more about the proposed facility, the results of public and stakeholder engagement regarding the project, and how to participate in the referendum process.

    If you have questions about the above information, please contact Doug Ross, Director, Recreation Services, at dross@vernon.ca.

    -30-

  • Media release: FAQs

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    19 August 2022

    On Saturday, October 15, 2022, eligible voters in Vernon will be asked if they are in favour of the City of Vernon borrowing up to $121 million for the purpose of developing the proposed Active Living Centre – a new multi-purpose indoor recreation facility.

    Over the next several weeks, the City will be providing a series of media releases with detailed information about the project, the results of extensive public and stakeholder engagement that helped shape the proposed facility, the funding strategy and impact for Vernon taxpayers, and much more.

    All the information is also available right now at www.engagevernon.ca/activelivingcentre.

    In addition to the website and media releases, Recreation Services staff will be hosting a series of information booths at upcoming community events and open houses. You can find details of those opportunities to chat with staff by visiting engagevernon.ca.

    The City’s objective is to share accurate, fact-based information about the project to help voters make a well-informed decision on October 15. The City is also encouraging citizens to vote. This is a community-based decision and every voice matters. Your vote is your voice.

    Below are the first few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the project and the upcoming referendum.

    Why is there a referendum on this issue?
    The Province of British Columbia requires public approval of long-term borrowing. The City of Vernon is asking the public to approve borrowing up to $121 million to plan, design, and construct a new multi-purpose indoor recreation facility called the Active Living Centre. The facility would be located at Kin Race Track Athletic Park (3501 43rd Avenue).

    What is the question that will be asked on the voting ballot?
    "Are you in favour of "Active Living Centre Loan Authorization Bylaw 5908" which would authorize the Corporation of the City of Vernon to borrow up to $121 million dollars, with interest, over a period not exceeding 30 years in order to finance the construction of an Active Living Centre to be located at 3501 43rd Avenue?"

    Why is an Active Living Centre being recommended?
    The proposed Active Living Centre is the result of recommendations made in the 2018 Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan and subsequent Active Living Centre Feasibility Study. The Master Plan and Feasibility Study were informed by extensive public and stakeholder engagement, which identified:

    • There is a need for new indoor recreation opportunities and facilities in the Vernon area, including a new aquatics centre, gymnasiums, fitness centre, walking/running track, and dedicated program spaces; and
    • The Vernon Aquatic Centre no longer meets the current needs, and will not meet the future needs, of a growing community.

    The proposed multi-use Active Living Centre includes: a 50m pool with two movable bulkheads (allows option to divide the pool into 3 activity areas or 2 x 25m swim areas); a leisure pool; hot tubs, sauna and steam room; double gymnasium with multiple sport courts; activity and program rooms; an 80-station fitness centre; and a 150m indoor synthetic walking/running track.

    Who can vote in the referendum?
    Qualified electors within the City of Vernon can vote in the Active Living Centre Referendum. Please visit www.engagevernon.ca/activelivingcentre to learn more about voter eligibility.

    When, where, and how can I vote in the referendum?
    General Voting Day for the Active Living Centre Referendum is Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Voting locations will be as follows:

    • Vernon Recreation Centre (3310 37th Avenue)
    • Fulton Secondary School (2301 Fulton Road)
    • Vernon Secondary School (2100 15th Street)

    Advance voting is available between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the following days:

    • Wednesday, October 5: Schubert Centre (3505 30th Avenue)
    • Wednesday, October 12: Vernon City Hall, Council Chambers (3400 30th Street)
    • Thursday, October 13: Vernon City Hall, Council Chambers (3400 30th Street

    To vote in the referendum, visit any voting location on an Advance or General Voting Day, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and present two pieces of identification*. View the list of acceptable pieces of ID from Elections BC.

    *Please note: the combined BC Driver's Licence and BC Care Card will be considered as ONE piece of ID.

    -30-


  • Vernon City Council endorses Active Living Centre Referendum communication strategy

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    by VernonBC,

    On October 15, 2022, eligible voters in Vernon will be asked if they are in favour of borrowing funds for the purpose of developing the proposed Active Living Centre – a new multi-purpose indoor recreation facility.

    At its Regular Meeting of August 15, Council endorsed a comprehensive strategic communication plan intended to help citizens in Vernon become aware of the project, its details, financial implications for Vernon taxpayers, and how eligible voters can participate in the referendum process.

    With Council’s endorsement, the City has officially launched an information campaign that has been developed to share accurate, fact-based information about the project and the referendum process, to help empower Vernon voters to make an informed decision on October 15.

    “The proposed Active Living Centre is a significant project for the Vernon area and there is a lot of detailed information to share with voters,” said Christy Poirier, Manager, Communications and Grants.

    “Therefore, we are putting a big focus on getting out into the community so residents can talk directly with staff, review material together, ask questions, and receive answers in real time. If members of the public would prefer to review material online, we’ve also developed a webpage at www.engagevernon.ca/activelivingcentre, where they can find a list of frequently asked questions, relevant reports, and conceptual drawings of the facility, among other things.”

    Between now and October 15, the City will be offering a number of ways for members of the public to easily access information and learn about the project and the referendum. Some of these include:

    • Information booths at community events
    • Open houses and pop-up information booths
    • Presentations to community service and business groups
    • An information webpage at www.engagevernon.ca/activelivingcentre
    • Regular news releases
    • Regular posts and stories on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn) using the handle @CityofVernon
    • Distributing information kiosks to various community facilities (such as Vernon City Hall, the Vernon Recreation Centre, Kal Tire Place, etc) that will include a list of Frequently Asked Questions and some of the conceptual drawings of the proposed facility

    Some of the community events that are already confirmed are listed below. As more community events, open houses, and pop-up information booths are confirmed, updates will be provided to the community.

    Upcoming community events

    • August 18: 2900 Plaza Downtown Sounds (2900 block of 30th Avenue) @ 6pm
    • September 23: BC Culture Days at Polson Park
    • September 24: Vernon Vipers hockey game
    • October 1 – 2: Vernon Fall Home Show at Kal Tire Place
    • October 7: Vernon Vipers hockey game
    • October 8: Vernon Vipers hockey game
    • October 14: Vernon Vipers hockey game

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    Report to Council: Active Living Centre Referendum Strategic Communications Plan

  • Vernon City Council on proposed Active Living Centre planning process

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    11 April 2022

    Vernon City Council would like to provide clarification on the planning process for the proposed Active Living Centre, and how members of the public and elected officials of the Greater Vernon area have participated. The Greater Vernon area includes the City of Vernon, District of Coldstream, and Electoral Areas B and C.

    In 2018, Greater Vernon Recreation Services conducted an extensive engagement process with the public, stakeholders, and elected officials, in order to develop the Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan. One of the many recommendations in that plan was to enhance the quantity and quality of the following types of recreation facilities for the Greater Vernon area:

    • indoor aquatics
    • community gymnasiums
    • dedicated program spaces
    • fitness and walking spaces
    • outdoor pools


    In early 2019, based on the Recreation Master Plan, City of Vernon’s Council, District of Coldstream’s Council, and Directors from Electoral Areas B and C, all supported a short-term action plan, which included 12 recommendations. One of those recommendations was to fund and conduct a feasibility study, to look at the development of new recreation facilities (including potential locations), and consider future enhancements to the current indoor aquatic facility.

    The Greater Vernon Active Living Centre Feasibility Study was conducted between October 2019 and April 2020, and included another comprehensive engagement process with the public, stakeholders, and elected officials from Greater Vernon. Specific engagement activities included: an Elected Officials workshop; a direct mail random sample survey; an open house; three online surveys – one of which specifically sought input from youth; six focus groups; 10 pop-up events; and 21 stakeholder groups.

    Based on the results of that engagement process, a preferred option was identified, to build a single multi-purpose recreation facility – the Active Living Centre. The facility is to include a new aquatic facility, double gymnasium, fitness centre, walking/running track, and dedicated program spaces.

    The results of the Feasibility Study were presented to all Greater Vernon elected officials in June 2020. At that time, Vernon City Council endorsed the preferred option and recommended moving forward with a referendum to consider the development of the proposed Active Living Centre. Vernon also respectfully requested that the District of Coldstream and Areas B and C consider the project.

    In response, the District of Coldstream notified Vernon it was not wishing to entertain participating in the Active Living facility project until the Culture Facility project was resolved.

    In order to maintain project momentum, Vernon City Council decided it would continue with the planning process of the proposed Active Living Centre in preparation for a referendum, including carrying out geotechnical survey work at the Kin Race Track site and additional conceptual design work. Vernon Council advised the District of Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C of this decision, and said it hoped they would reconsider participating at a future date.

    On August 23, 2021, a presentation was made to the District of Coldstream’s Council, with Area B and C Directors in attendance, to provide further information on the project and address some of the questions that were asked. The remaining questions were responded to in writing.

    On December 16, 2021, the City of Vernon sent a letter to its Greater Vernon neighbours, making them aware of a planning timeline to lead up to a referendum in October 2022. Council again asked if they would like to participate in the proposed project and requested a response by April 25, 2022.

    Since that time, an additional presentation has been made to Greater Vernon elected officials and additional questions that have been asked, have been answered in writing.

    The City of Vernon has also recently provided presentations to other surrounding Regional District municipalities and electoral areas about the proposed project and have asked whether they would like to participate in the project.

    Earlier today, at its Regular Meeting, Vernon City Council directed Administration to move forward with a City of Vernon referendum regarding the Active Living Centre, where the City of Vernon would be the owner, operator, and manager of the facility.

    Vernon City Council has confidence in the outcomes of the Master Plan and Feasibility Study processes and believes the proposed facilities included in the Active Living Centre reflect the identified recreation needs of citizens of Vernon and the Greater Vernon communities.

    The City of Vernon will continue to offer the opportunity for neighbour jurisdictions to join the project at a later date, either through the existing Recreation Agreement or through Fee for Service Agreements.

    More information about the Active Living Centre project can be found at www.gvrec.ca.

  • City Council receives results of Active Living Centre Feasibility Study

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    27 May 2020

    Vernon City Council has received the results of the Active Living Centre Feasibility Study, which includes a recommended preferred design option for future indoor recreation facilities for the Greater Vernon area.

    The study was established as a result of the 2018 Recreation Master Plan, in which Greater Vernon residents identified a need for new indoor recreation opportunities. It was conducted by FaulknerBrowns Architects and staff from Greater Vernon Recreation Services.

    The goal of the study was to find an indoor facility mix that meets the current and future needs of a growing community, while also having the opportunity to attract new residents and visitors to the Greater Vernon area.

    “We have done a significant amount of public engagement and consultation during this study,” said Doug Ross, Director, Recreation Services. “We have spoken with and received feedback from thousands of Greater Vernon residents through pop-up events, stakeholder sessions, an open house, an online survey, an elected official’s workshop, and most recently, a statistically-valid controlled mail survey.”

    Based on the results of the study, the recommendation is to build a new facility on the former Kin Racetrack site that includes: a 50m pool, leisure pool, double gymnasium, fitness centre, walking/running track and multi-purpose spaces.

    “The feedback we received from Greater Vernon residents during the study was consistent with the Master Plan,” said Ross. “Each of the recreation spaces identified in the recommendation received strong public support – particularly a 50m pool – with an understanding that the construction and operation of a new or expanded facility would require an increase in taxation.”

    “A vital aspect of the study was to fully understand the balance between what the community desires and what the community can afford,” continued Ross. “Throughout the process, the consultants listened carefully to public feedback and made several adjustments to the facility size and design to include the amenities requested by Greater Vernon residents while containing costs. Based on figures provided by the consultant team’s Quantity Surveyor, an Active Living Centre with all of the proposed amenities is estimated to cost approximately $83 million if built at one time (under a Class D estimate*).”

    Annual operating costs of a new fully developed facility are estimated to be approximately $1.4 million. This includes the savings that would be realized through the decommissioning of the current Vernon Aquatic Centre once the new facility was open.

    "If the full facility was built at one time, the tax implication for the debt servicing and operation of the facility for the average Greater Vernon household is estimated to be approximately $167 annually,” said Ross. “This amount could be reduced if we are able to secure grant funding or sponsorship dollars, but we don’t know what opportunities may exist in those areas at this time.”

    As the public indicated that their preference was for Greater Vernon Recreation to only operate one aquatic facility, once a new 50m pool and leisure aquatics facility were being developed, another feasibility study would be required to determine how to repurpose the current Vernon Aquatic Centre.

    The study provided several options for the development of the facility including building the facility all at one time or in phases. During its Regular Meeting of May 25, Vernon City Council supported in principle the conceptual plan for the Active Living Centre as presented, and the option to go to a referendum to borrow up to $90 million to build the full facility at one time.

    “Our recreation facilities proudly serve residents of the entire Greater Vernon region, so before further steps can be taken we need to present the results of this feasibility study to the elected officials of the District of Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C,” said Ross. “In order to go to referendum, we require unanimous support and direction from the elected officials of all the Greater Vernon Recreation Services funding partners.”

    He continued, “At this time, we are all navigating the difficult impacts of COVID-19, however, it’s important to note that even if we receive direction to go to referendum, we would be another four or five years away from opening the doors to a new facility. This is a significant investment for our region and projects of this size take time and require careful consideration. We look forward to presenting the results of this study to our partners in the near future and to continue discussing how we might be able to take this project from the conceptual stage to a reality.”

    To review the feasibility study results and stay up-to-date on the Active Living Centre process, visit www.gvrec.ca.

    *Cost estimates are Class D +/- 25%. Cost based on May 2020 dollars, escalation anticipated before construction bid.

    Below are conceptual designs for the proposed Active Living Centre facility.

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  • How, when, and where to vote

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    WAYS TO VOTE

    General Voting Day for the Active Living Centre Referendum is Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Voting locations will be as follows:

    • Vernon Recreation Centre (3310 37th Avenue)
    • Fulton Secondary School (2301 Fulton Road)
    • Vernon Secondary School (2100 15th Street)

    Advance voting is available between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the following days:

    • Wednesday, October 5: Schubert Centre (3505 30th Avenue)
    • Wednesday, October 12: Vernon City Hall, Council Chambers (3400 30th Street)
    • Thursday, October 13: Vernon City Hall, Council Chambers (3400 30th Street)


    WHO CAN VOTE

    RESIDENTS

    You can vote in a referendum in Vernon if you meet all of the following criteria. You are:

    • able to provide proof of residency within the City of Vernon;
    • 18 years of age or older on the day of voting;
    • a Canadian citizen;
    • a resident of British Columbia for at least six months prior to voting day (April 14, 2022);
    • Are not disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election.
    • Voter registration is done at the time of voting.

    NON-RESIDENTS

    You must provide proof of ownership of the property for which are voting and you meet all of the following requirements. You are:

    • 18 years of age or older on the day of voting;
    • a Canadian citizen;
    • a resident of British Columbia for at least six months prior to voting day (April 14, 2022);
    • a registered owner of real property in the City of Vernon for at least 30 days immediately before voting day (September 14, 2022);
    • not disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election.
    • If there is more than one person on title for the property, you must provide written permission from the majority of property owners authorizing you as the sole individual to vote for that property.


    VOTING PROCESS

    To vote in the referendum, visit any voting location on an Advance or General Voting Day, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and present two pieces of identification*. View the list of acceptable pieces of ID from Elections BC.

    *Please note: the combined BC Driver's Licence and BC Care Card will be considered as ONE piece of ID.




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Page last updated: 24 Oct 2022, 03:50 PM