It will be more costly for recreation users in Fruitvale

City of Trail says B.V. rec committee ending Recreation Services Agreement

Fruitvale, Montrose and Area A recreation users will pay more to use Trail facilities

If you live in Montrose, Fruitvale or anywhere in Area A, you will be paying more to use recreation facilities in Trail in 2014.

The City of Trail issued a press release Friday stating the Beaver Valley (B.V.) Recreation, Parks and Trails Committee has informed the city that it will not be renewing, renegotiating or extending their Recreation Services Agreement with Trail.

Facilities covered by the agreement include the Trail Aquatic & Leisure Centre, Leisure Programming, Field House and Haley Park. As a result of this cancellation, all B.V. residents (Montrose, Fruitvale and Electoral Area “A”) will be subject to the higher rates under the Trail Resident Program (TRP) effective Jan. 1, said the city’s press release.

“The City is very disappointed the Committee has decided not to renew the agreement,” said Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs. “We’ve worked hard to build strong relationships with our neighbouring communities. We have viewed Beaver Valley has a partner with respect to our recreation programs and facilities based on their level of financial support. Council will now need to consider this significant loss within the context of the 2014 Recreation Budget and how this decision will impact services as well as the Trail Resident Program in terms of user rates going forward.”

According to the press release, the five-year agreement was negotiated following the collapse of the Regional Recreation Service when all Greater Trail communities contributed to Recreation and Culture as part of the regional service.  This agreement commenced in 2009 and called for a $200,000 financial contribution by the Beaver Valley. This rate increased each year based on the BC Consumer Price Index.

Without BV’s contribution in 2014, the City of Trail will experience an immediate loss in revenue of $209,350. The City has similar agreements with the Village of Warfield and Electoral Area “B”.  The Warfield agreement also expires at the end of this year and City and Village officials have had positive discussions focusing on renewal.

The Trail press release went on to state that the Beaver Valley Recreation, Parks and Trails Committee has indicated it intends to run a reimbursement program through the Beaver Valley Recreation Program. In response to this approach Mayor Bogs noted, “ultimately this may reduce the cost to the Beaver Valley Service but it will really challenge the City to rationalize the provision of services and the City’s $3.39 million Recreation Services operating budget that does benefit the entire region. The concern going forward is to continue to provide services to outlying communities who do not want to fairly contribute to these facilities and services that are truly regional in nature.  The City will be forced to look at this critically in terms of these service subsidies and how it impacts the City’s budget and taxpayers. From a regional sustainability and governance perspective, this is an unfortunate decision.”

“We are now working on reorganizing our administrative processes for all Beaver Valley residents,” says Trisha Davison, Director of Trail Parks & Recreation.  “There may be possible processing delays for any Beaver Valley residents who have requested recreation services starting in the new year.  We will also be cancelling all BV resident TRP cards effective January 1st, 2014.  We weren’t anticipating this and considerable resources will now be required to implement the change.”

See Tuesday’s Trail Times for more on this developing story.

 

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