Rossland residents tired of paying double to go for a swim in Trail are gaining support online.
An event called “Occupy Rossland Council” has popped up on Facebook and is asking citizens to post how the increase in costs related to the use of Trail’s recreation facilities has impacted their lives.
“I will not attend the aquatic centre facility and think it’s high time Rossland city council made an effort . . . and real solution for its families and the children in those families that need this important life skill,” wrote Rosslander Heather Bartlett. “The Rossland community fights hard enough for education. Get on board, council, and bring us a solution!”
The Facebook page is to collect feedback until Oct. 31 and organizers are continually filling city councils’ inboxes with input in hopes they get their point across.
Rossland is the only community that hasn’t reached an agreement with Trail on funding facilities the city deems regional.
Following the dissolution of regional funding for recreation in 2008, Rosslanders are required to pay double the drop-in fees to use Trail’s rec facilities or have the option of buying into the Trail resident program, in which households are charged $1,000 to use facilities at the regular rate.
In 2009, Trail requested that Rossland pay just over $131,000 a year for five years (close to $656,000) but the Golden City didn’t come close to this offer with a pitch to pay $35,000 the first year and then an adjusted rate based on actual usage toward the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre and Haley Park.
Discussions ended when Rossland would not agree to follow a funding formula created by a mediator and further negotiations were put on hold because Trail didn’t want to prejudice any potential future contract renewals by deviating from this formula.
“The majority of people who talk to me think that Trail’s request of a million dollars over five years was totally outrageous,” said Granstrom. “I’d like to see it resolved and I really can’t say what that resolution would be but there’s not too much we can do if Trail doesn’t want to negotiate and they want a million dollars.”
Trail Mayor Dieter Boggs could not be reached by press time Sunday.