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Plan reveals challenges for Trail recreation

Trail Parks and Recreation Master Plan was revealed to the public Tuesday night and awaits public feedback.

A 10-year plan that describes how the City of Trail can face the challenge to maintain and improve recreation facilities, parks and open spaces was revealed to the public Tuesday night.

For the most part, the draft copy of the Trail Parks and Recreation Master Plan is receiving positive nods, but the public has two more weeks to guide recommendations for the final report.

“The next phase is feedback,” said Trisha Davison, Trail’s director of parks and recreation.

“People are welcome to read the document and comment on what needs to be added, modified or deleted before the final version is crafted and given to council for consideration.”

Although there are no surprises in the 208-page plan that can be viewed on the city’s website, a key learning issue that was identified is the lack of a skateboard park in the Silver City.

Further, the plan recommends a short term timeline for the city to take a more proactive role in the development of an outdoor skatepark.

“This is really good news for our SkatePark committee because it highlights what we’ve known all along,” said Patrick Audet, committee member. “Which is the need for suitable recreation for our young people besides organized sports in Trail.”

Another key point is that the city’s existing facilities are being under utilized, with the Trail Memorial Centre topping the list.

The report provides a detailed history of the centre and identifies a short term goal to rebrand and retrofit the facility to significantly increase its use.

The iconic city landmark is part of the social fabric of the community, but is dated, underutilized and unsuited to many current and projected future community needs, according to the plan.

Change is necessary to ensure its sustainability, continues the report.

Another issue the master plan addresses is the Trail Resident Pass (TRP).  Until a few years ago, all municipal jurisdictions surrounding Trail contributed to the regional recreation services provided within Trail with tax contributions through the regional district.

The TRP is deemed, “not as successful as hoped” because it is complicated, costly to administer, and imposes a barrier to use, with very little net incremental value.

“To seek equitable funding as a regional service clearly is something that will be baby steps over the next 10 years,” said Davison. “Although this is quite vague in the draft it is highlighted as a need and we will take every opportunity to look into regional funding for different levels of service.”

Once the final master plan is complete, the document will be submitted to council for consideration some time in November, said Davison.

“This is a community report and the elected officials will guide the decision making and what to implement through the budgeting process.”

The master plan is an $80,000 capital project that was completed in a process that involved input and consultation with over 60 local community groups and stakeholders,  a survey invitation to residents, and guidance from council and senior staff to develop a framework for decision making and priority setting.

Sheri Regnier

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