An outdoor skating rink was recently constructed at Predator Ridge and now the City of Vernon is looking into what it would cost to build something similar at Polson Park. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

An outdoor skating rink was recently constructed at Predator Ridge and now the City of Vernon is looking into what it would cost to build something similar at Polson Park. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

North Okanagan skating rink proposal sharpened

City of Vernon investigating costs of constructing rink amid plans for a new $90 million rec centre

With a new $90-million recreation facility on the horizon, the proposal for another outdoor skating rink is being questioned.

A rink at Polson Park has been suggested, as a means to spruce up the park and provide additional outdoor recreation opportunities.

But costs need to be calculated first, to determine just how much Vernon taxpayers can swallow.

“We already have a downtown rink,” Coun. Akbal Mund at the Monday, Jan. 11 council meeting. “This will be another large cost to the taxpayer. We have to watch where we’re spending our money and why we’re doing it.”

A proposed $90-million active living centre is on the books at the old Kin Racetrack. It could also be a potential location for an additional outdoor rink.

But Coun. Scott Anderson would like to see a rink at Polson Park, along with his recently approved fire pits.

READ MORE: Vernon sparks idea of fire pits in Polson Park

The idea, which originally came from Coun. Dalvir Nahal, has received a lot of feedback.

“This would be a game-changer,” said Nahal, who would like to see Vernon have something like Kelowna’s Stuart Park rink.

Predator Ridge recently constructed a rink for its residents, but city staff warn that something in Vernon would be a lot more costly.

“Realistically, we need to look at public washrooms and change rooms and a Zamboni and a Zamboni room,” chief administrative officer Will Pearce said.

Mund also pointed out that a lot of money has been invested into the existing outdoor Centennial Rink for a new chiller.

But the update means Centennial has been closed for the season.

READ MORE: Vernon outdoor rink closed for season

Mund also cautioned if a rink is constructed in Polson Park, the oval is highly saturated and would not be suitable without some significant work.

Coun. Brian Quiring excused himself from the discussion as his firm, which builds hockey rinks among other facilities, could possibly be used for cost estimates.

City staff will report back to council with costs.

READ MORE: Skating rink proposed for Vernon’s Polson Park


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jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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