Reimbursement program for Area B begins Jan. 1

No rec agreement means double the fees at Trail facilities

No backlash is the bellwether that the right decision was made, says Linda Worley.

The Area B director was speaking about her decision not to renew a recreation agreement with Trail.

Effective Jan. 1, anyone living in that area, which includes Genelle, Rivervale, Oasis, Casino and Blackjack, will pay double to use Trail facilities, and require a sports pass for activities like minor hockey and soccer.

So far, the news has made no ripples with constituents, she says. In fact, quite the opposite – the voting body is thanking her.

“I’ve had 17 individuals call me, which is just unheard of, saying. ‘Thank you for listening to what we are saying,’” Worley told the Trail Times.

“And they’ve said thank you for thinking about Area B’s health and not just over-riding our decision,” she added. “And there’s not been one call to the RDKB (Regional District of Kootenay Boundary) with people upset about not entering into an agreement.”

Neither party could reach a financial middle ground during negotiations last month, so Worley found a solution her electors consider agreeable – a pilot reimbursement program.

After hosting a public meeting, gathering insight through a survey, and talking door-to-door with voters, Worley says she’s heard a resounding message.

“It’s what the people want (reimbursement), spoken loud and clear,” she explained. “And it’s what is healthiest for the Area B coffers.”

Worley was new to the table when she signed the five-year agreement with Trail.

She was voted in during a 2010 byelection (after serving seven years as alternate director), which is also when the Area B referendum passed, making way for a tax hike related to the recreation deal.

Since then, Area B has contributed $702,000 toward a service that Worley, now in her second term, says only eight per cent of her populace uses.

“During the trial period we will closely monitor the number of people that are actually using the reimbursement program,” she explained. “And we are going crunch numbers in all fairness in order to have another look at the possibility of re-entering into something the following year, in 2017.”

The regional district will be mailing out information to all residents by Christmas informing them of the change, she continued.

“They’ll have plenty of time to read it and realize what the (new) procedures will be,” Worley explained. “It will be a very simple stop to the regional district office for a turnaround time of three days.”

Worley says pulling out of recreation doesn’t mean her area isn’t contributing to local services as a whole.

“My first loyalty is to the Area B folks and their tax dollars,” she said. “The regional district areas do their fair share contributing toward shared services like the hospital, but recreation is totally different because it’s only a shared service with Trail.”

Though Castlegar is in the Regional District of Central Kootenay, not the RDKB, Worley says the city holds options for her constituents.

“Mayor Chernoff has repeatedly told me to send all the Area B residents to Castlegar,” she said. “As anyone from anywhere can use the Castlegar facilities at the same rate as Castlegar residents.”

She says that’s coupled with the fact that anyone outside the Lower Columbia communities, visitors and otherwise, can use the Trail facilities at the same rate as Trail residents.

“We who support the Trail businesses and add to their economy in other ways beside the rec facilities are expected to pay more to the city,” she concluded. “That doesn’t make sense to me.”

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read