Recreation still the main issue for Montrose citizens and council

Monday night's council meeting highlighted continued frustration with current recreation deal.

With the municipal election now in the bag, the Montrose mayor and council are being taken to task over the outstanding matter of recreation in the region.

Danchuk assured village residents during his second term campaign that reaching a fair recreation deal between the Beaver Valley and Trail would top his list of priorities in the coming year.

Montrose residents Ian McAlpine and George Jones addressed the topic with council Monday night, reiterating their frustration over upfront costs and the lack of up-to-date communication for village residents.

The double whammy Beaver Valley residents are subject to every time they want to swim, play ball or slap a puck around, is unfair to all kids and adults, said McAlpine.

“I’ve been hearing so much about money saved, money saved, money saved from the recreation commission,” he explained.

“We are talking about a social mecca for hockey and ball. So to prevent one person from being able to attend any recreational facility or program within this combined area is shameful. There is no reason for it and it should not have been tolerated by the residents of Montrose, Fruitvale or Area A.”

He and George Jones attended the regular meeting looking for answers about the status of discussion within the Beaver Valley Recreation Commission (BV Rec) including a timeline of when a potential agreement might be reached.

“We are asking council to consider putting recreation on the agenda as a standing item so we know as a community at least in Montrose, what our representative is bringing back from those meetings.

“The residents of Beaver Valley don’t deserve another surprise like we got last year and I think councils can prevent that from happening.”

Danchuk took over as the Montrose representative to the commission early last year after the community was up in arms after the decision to end the recreation agreement was made without any public involvement.

“Ninety per cent of my time is going to be spent on recreation,” Danchuk confirmed to McAlpine and Jones. “And council is feeling the same thing,” he added.

“We are moving ahead with getting what our costs were this year and are hopefully going to meet sometime in January. I am positive and agreement can be worked out that will be very beneficial to everybody.”

The Dec. 9 recreation committee meeting was cancelled, he continued, adding that upcoming meetings are open and past minutes are public on the regional district website.

Additionally, Montrose council requested a service review in light of the closed meeting decision made by BV Rec’s three-members this time last year.

The service review was completed on Nov 20, said Kevin Chartres, Montrose’s chief administrative officer, noting it was initiated by Montrose for a policy to be established regarding additions, deletions and changes made to services or programs.

“Policy has not been developed as yet and staff have been tasked to bring this to the committee at a later date early in the new year,” he said. “Any changes to services must be made by a pre-determined date to allow staff to submit information for budgetary deliberations.”

The addition of new services must include a mandatory referral or presentation to council outlining the costs, feasibility, benefits, and anticipated recoveries, he added.

McAlpine asked that information be brought to Montrose council and village residents in a timely matter once discussions between the municipalities begin.

“There’s too many people wondering what is going to happen this year,” he said. “We just want to make sure things were and are proceeding.”

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