Upgrades to Vernon's Deer Park have been approved at an increased $160,681.
City staff say both tennis/pickleball courts at the park in Canadian Lakeview Estates are at the “end of their life.”
At this week's council meeting, Coun. Brian Guy questioned the need to decommission a court rather than just fence it off.
“We're once again taking money from the infrastructure reserve; I was just thinking of a way to save a few bucks,” said Guy.
The city says the court presents a safety issue, requiring it to be decommissioned.
“It's a safety hazard. Yes, we could fence it. The longer it sits there every year, by year, by year, it just gets worse, and worse, and worse. So at some point it has to be done,” explained chief administrative officer Patti Bridal.
“So I think this is an opportune time when we're doing the other works in the park because we're going to be able to clean that area right up.”
Council approved staff’s recommendation to increase the original budget from 2019 to facilitate site improvements including one court and playground equipment, along with stump and brush removal, and path network improvements.
The work initially included reconstruction of both courts.
Deer Park is designated as a neighbourhood park, but doesn’t have a playground structure, benches and picnic tables consistent with the definition of a neighbourhood park.
During 2020 public consultation on the project, a large majority of residents were in support of the plan.
Mayor Victor Cumming raised concerns over a “small group that are unhappy” with the project.
Coun. Akbal Mund countered that residents have been looking to get the area upgraded for decades.
“I think having 90% either neutral or happy with the project moving forward is a high number; 10% shouldn’t weigh us in one way or another,” said Mund.