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Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes Folks on Spokes

VERNON – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce welcomes a City of Vernon program that will target discarded needles.
The city’s Folks on Spokes pilot program begins March 1 to provide the community with a hotline to report improperly discarded needles. Also, with the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society weekly deep clean, teams of peers will be recruited to provide a daily clean-up of identified hot spots.
“We thank the city for moving ahead with Folks on Spokes as the issue of discarded needles is a very real concern for businesses,” said Diana Wilson, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce president.
The chamber participated in the Activate Safety Task Force and one of the task force’s recommendations was for the city to initiate a public information campaign on how to report improperly discarded needles. “The chamber recently reached out to many of its members downtown and there was a common concern about safety for themselves, their employees, their customers and those who are truly disadvantaged. Folks on Spokes is an important first step towards addressing those concerns.”
However, the chamber is concerned Folks on Spokes may be largely concentrated in the downtown core.
“Many of the issues identified downtown, including discarded needles, are also occurring in other commercial areas on the periphery of downtown or at the north end of Vernon,” said Wilson.
“Safety issues and the impact on business don’t follow any set boundaries, and there is a need for a broad-based, community response that assists all business owners.”
Once the city has announced the details of the hotline phone number, the chamber will provide that information to its members.
“The safety issues experienced downtown and in other parts of Vernon are very much a community issue, and the chamber wants to be a constructive partner with the city and service providers. It is important that the entire community work together to make Vernon an even better place to live and work,” said Wilson.
Dione Chambers, General Manager    
Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce   
E:  P: 250.545.0771