The Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre has seen a noticeable increase in users with most swimming lessons full until December. Beaver Valley (B.V.) residents no longer have to get reimbursed for using regional facilities in Trail since B.V. rec signed a deal with the City of Trail.

New deal serves up recreation without receipts, complaints

Positive response from B.V. residents says Trail rec director

Disbanding a reimbursement program and signing a recreation deal has proven popular among Beaver Valley residents who continue to dive into shared facilities in Trail.

Though there are no statistical reports to go off of one month into the new service agreement, Trisha Davidson of Trail Parks and Recreation said that simplifying the process has been well received.

“What I can tell you is the Beaver Valley residents that I have personally spoken with are very happy to be able to use the facilities and to see their administrative processes much easier to deal with,” Davidson noted.

“I can also say that the building is very busy – private lessons have had a huge uptake for the month of October and most swimming lessons are full until December.”

The one-year deal sees Beaver Valley contribute $125,000 for the term which will allow their residents to use Trail Parks and Recreation facilities and participate in its services and programs at the Trail resident fee under the Trail Resident Program (TRP).

“Beaver Valley will consider a longer term agreement when the proposed boundary expansion has been concluded, as this could impact our ability to pay for this and other services as well,” explained Area A director Ali Grieve.

Beaver Valley Recreation withdrew from City of Trail recreation at the end of 2013 to launch its own payment system, following a reimbursement model.

“In the beginning there were calls of concerns,” recalled Mark Daines, manager of facilities and recreation at the regional district. “But after about the first month, once it started to roll out and people saw how well we were dealing with it, my phone stopped ringing.”

The rec partners — Fruitvale, Montrose and Area A — wanted to find out what the actual cost was and the City of Trail was unable to provide this information.

“What we found was that we were only subsiding to an amount of about $50,000,” said Daines, comparing the figure to the approximate $210,000 previously paid toward regional recreation.

“That was an eye opener for us because we really didn’t know how much of that was actually getting used for people who needed the subsidy for Trail programs and the truth is in the numbers.”

Trail parks and rec counts users through program registration, TRP cards issued and memberships. There is no residential information kept on those paying drop-in – just what rate (TRP or non-TRP) is paid. Statistics are tallied quarterly (so far there are nearly 570 Beaver Valley people holding TRP cards) and Davidson said a detailed report on the fall session will be complied in early January.

The hope is that convenience may encourage more Beaver Valley residents to jump back in the water.

“Is it a better deal for taxpayers?” asked Daines. “I think the one thing was a matter of convenience —and not having to submit receipts is one thing — but it certainly will show a better picture of usage and how much it actually costs.”

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