Dale Andrews shared this photo of snowy downtown Rossland back in January. (Dale Andrews photo)

Dale Andrews shared this photo of snowy downtown Rossland back in January. (Dale Andrews photo)

Recreation talk surfaces in Rossland

Partial collapse of city hall’s roof has put a damper on things, including the topic of recreation

Certain hot topics seem to flare up in civic election years.

Like recreation deals between municipalities, for example, which came up in Rossland council last week.

But the reality is, the cost of leisure play comes up frequently no matter the year, says Mayor Kathy Moore.

“Recreation is always a hot topic in Rossland,” she told the Times. “The feedback I get from Rosslanders is that, in general, people want us to support their preferred form of recreation: the curlers and hockey folks want investment in the arena, the baseball and swimming team families want us to make a deal with Trail for the use of Trail’s facilities.”

Anything is possible, but it’ll cost.

“Of course, we can provide everything people want but the trade-off is higher taxes,” Moore said. “Then there is a large contingent of people who are very sensitive to the tax issue. Yes, we offer a lot of services for the taxes that are paid, but the final number is considered a burden by some.”

She says council does intend to gauge the community’s views on recreation, likely before the fall election.

What that will entail remains in question, especially in light of a recent untimely event.

“Recreation was a priority but now with our city hall roof issues, we are somewhat distracted, ” said Moore, referring to the partial roof collapse on the weekend. “With a limited budget we can’t be all things to all people, we have to make choices.”

Repairing aging groundworks the past four years and the high yield of snow this winter, added a barrier to cracking open recreation talks in council’s final term.

“We’ve been working really hard to address core infrastructure projects that have been neglected for years,” Moore said. “And we’ve blown through our snow budget with this year’s lovely snow fall.

“The roof of city hall has rendered part of the building unusable, and will require a lot of staff time and effort to relocate some of our departments to get up and running again.”

When council is ready to take recreation off the back burner, she says considerable effort will go into hearing from all segments of the community.

Moore would prefer an organized approach prior to the election rather than having a referendum in October.

“But it may end up being done at the same time,” she continued. “We just don’t have a plan in place at this point. I know a subject like this will sweep like wildfire through social media but I do not believe that is the best way to determine true community sentiment.”

Rossland’s situation differs from some of its surrounding communities in that it operates almost entirely from a residential tax base.

“In addition, we provide a lot of services and recreational facilities that cost us a bundle and are in need of significant and costly upgrades,” Moore added.

“I’m not complaining, just stating the facts.”