Anyone wanting to camp in Lumby this winter has been left out in the cold.
Council voted Monday not to allow camping at the Lions Campground between November and April.
“There are no lights, running water or septic,” said Coun. Lori Mindnich.
“Because of safety reasons, you must have those basic necessities.”
The Lions lease the land from the village and the lease agreement does not allow for camping during the winter months.
Lions members accepted seven RV units for the winter, saying there was strong interest for the service.
“All have been advised that services are limited to electricity. No water, washroom facilities or snow removal would be available,” said Keith Milne, club treasurer, in a letter.
“We have provided for all to use a porta-pottie transporter which enables them to empty their holding tanks into the existing year-round sani station.”
Milne added that the seven campers would provide $2,000 per month in income, which would be distributed back to the community.
Village staff recommended to council that winter camping not be allowed after concerns were expressed by the fire department, public works and the RCMP.
In the case of the RCMP, the agency pointed out that Vernon has shut down homeless camps and displaced people could arrive in Lumby.
“The village will see an increase in property crime and illicit drug use/abuse if this happens. This has the potential to overburden current police/bylaw resources and available social services,” states a report.
The village will work with the seven campers to ensure they have places to go.
“We won’t just throw somebody out on the street,” said Mayor Kevin Acton.
Coun. Julie Pilon admits council struggled with the issue.
“It wasn’t easy for any of us,” she said, adding, though, that the village must consider safety and liability.
Mindnich insists council isn’t opposed to winter camping in the future if planning occurs.
“If they can supply a caretaker and onsite water and sewer, it may be a great idea. People are not going south and they are living in their fifth-wheels,” she said.