FILE — Swimmers competed the BC Senior Games in the summer. (Submitted)

FILE — Swimmers competed the BC Senior Games in the summer. (Submitted)

City council working to make Rossland more age friendly

Council heard a presentation from two representatives of the Rossland Seniors’ Association

Rossland City Council is working to make the community more age-friendly.

Council heard a presentation from two representatives of the Rossland Seniors’ Association last month, asking that council find a way to address the higher costs paid by Rosslanders when using the Trail Aquatic Centre

“We’re here tonight to tell council that it’s still a major concern for many Rosslanders of all ages that we pay double what others in the area do to access the Trail Aquatic Centre,” said Carol Albo, one of the presenters.

It costs $10.60 per visit for seniors 60 and over to use the Trail Aquatic Centre — double what Trail residents or residents from towns with a TRP agreement pay. Alternatively, seniors can pay $110.60 for a monthly pass, again double what others pay.

“We’ve heard some Rosslanders say that they take a carload of grandkids all the way to Castlegar to swim. Sure they pay more gas, but they also shop, dine out and enjoy other Castlegar facilities while there,” said Albo. “Those over 80 years old actually swim free at Castlegar; however, most seniors would rather only drive to Trail.”

Albo and her co-presenter Barb Roberts asked that council restore the rebate program that was previously in place for the Trail facilities.

Rebates are now only available for teams for children up to 18 years old and there is only $10,000 available, split between a spring and fall intake.

RELATED: Rossland council sets conditions for 2017 Trail Recreation Program fee assistance

But Mayor Kathy Moore said it was unlikely that the Trail Recreation Program fee issue was unlikely to be resolved anytime soon — due to the cost.

“For us to do what Trail wanted we would have to have a two per cent increase just to cover the cost of recreation that Trail demands. That’s a two per cent increase on the entire town. We get about $50,000 on a one per cent increase. They wanted us to pay close to $100,000 so we could have the same access to recreation that, say, Beaver Valley does or Warfield,” said Moore.

David Perehudoff, CAO for the City of Trail, was contacted for more information on Trail’s recreation fees but had not responded by press time.

Albo and Roberts also requested that council consult “with a cross-section of seniors when the city undertakes its recreation facilities and programs’ review. The city should really consider the spectrum of seniors’ needs increasingly required by aging seniors and new seniors, which form a growing segment of our population.”

On that front, Moore had more positive news.

The City of Rossland is waiting to hear back regarding its application for an Age-friendly Communities Grant, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities and funded by the province.

They have applied under the first funding stream, which provides funding for age-friendly, action plans and planning, and once the city has a completed age-friendly assessment or action plan, they will be eligible for funding under stream two, which provides project funding.

If the grant application is successful, the city can build on the work it began with Sandi McCreight, a seniors’ advocate from Castlegar, over the summer.

“That [the Age-friendly Communities Grant project] would take a lot of the material that we gathered with Sandi and put that into a more formal proposal that would get some funding hopefully from the province,” said Moore.

For Moore, the ultimate goal is to have a seniors’ coordinator who works for Rossland, Trail and Warfield “creating events and activities and social interactions for seniors in our area, much the way they have in Beaver Valley.”

Beaver Valley hired its seniors’ coordinator six years ago.

The coordinator oversees an age-friendly program, providing socialization and dealing with isolation and transportation issues, among other things, according to Fruitvale Mayor Patricia Cecchini.

“They have monthly coffee meetings to discuss issues that they have and they bring in guest speakers on health and wellness for the seniors,” says Cecchini.

The program started with a grant to produce a study on seniors’ needs in the community and is funded through Beaver Valley Recreation, with Fruitvale, Montrose and Area A contributing to the service.

“We had a core group of seniors that were involved in that original group and it just kind of evolved from there,” says Cecchini.

The Village of Fruitvale also has a gym for community members who are 50 years old or better that it built over two years ago as a result of consultation with its senior population.

“There was a lot of activities like senior’s Zumba and dance and yoga, but the men wanted something, and they wanted a gym,” says Cecchini.

The village successfully applied for a grant and then built the gym in the Fruitvale Memorial Centre.

“It’s been highly successful. The seniors were intimidated to go to the gym. A lot of them that use it have never been to a gym before, but because it’s for seniors only they feel comfortable in there and there’s a steady stream of them,” says Cecchini.

The gym includes treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowing machines and weights.

Asked for any advice she’d offer to other communities wanting to improve things for their seniors, Cecchini said, “listen to the seniors. You shouldn’t be telling them what [they] need, they will tell you what they need.”

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read