Update: 5 pm
Vernon council has agreed to spend an extra 13-thousand dollars for increased bylaw officer presence in Polson Park.
The measure will runs from now until early November, and is one of the changes aimed at getting more people using the park.
Mayor Akbal Mund says the new bylaw limiting the hours for temporary shelters in the park, has been successful in moving homeless residents elsewhere.
“Some of them have moved around in different parts of the city. We have some near the linear park on 25th Avenue. Some of them are out near London Drugs again,” says Mund.
Mund says the new bylaw has been a success, although he admits it’s just moved the homeless to other areas.
“We had a lot of pressure to act on Polson Park, and we had a lot of thinking about what we were going to do, rather than knee-jerk reactions. And I think what we’ve done is make the park safer,” adds Mund.
Councillor Scott Anderson — who raised some of the initial concerns about safety in the park — says the new bylaw limiting hours for temporary shelters has helped move homeless residents elsewhere.
“I think it is working, and staff has proposed new measures that I think will continue to bring people into the park,” says Anderson.
The city is also looking at allowing on-leash dogs in the park, and improving the playground.
Vernon council will debate adding more security in Polson Park, at its meeting this afternoon.
Staff are recommending council approve spending $13,000
to increase Bylaw Officer presence in the park.
If approved, the change would run for eight weeks until early November.
It’s one of the measures council is looking at to encourage more people to use the park.
Bylaws staff is also expected to update council today on the impact of the new bylaw banning temporary shelters from 9 am to 9 pm in city parks.