The City of Trail’s boundary extension proposal is in the ministry’s hands and now the mayors of Fruitvale and Montrose and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) director for the area also had a chance to look over the weighty document and offer their responses.
In a press release, the group expressed some satisfaction with the opportunity to see in black and white what Trail is putting on the table, there still remains a considerable gulf to be crossed before anything close to an agreement is reached.
“This is all subject to discussion,” said Fruitvale Mayor Patricia Cecchini during an interview with the Trail Times on Thursday.
“We haven’t had any face-to-face discussion on this whole matter and, until we sit down with them and negotiate I can’t say whether or not anything is acceptable. I’m not going to negotiate through the Trail Times. They need to come and talk to us.”
RDKB Area A director Ali Grieve noted in the press release that there are still some differences in what they see as potential losses for the citizens of the Beaver Valley.
“Our numbers show that we could experience a loss in taxable assessment of 57 per cent,” Grieve said.
“This is significant for our small communities.
“However, we now look forward to having a face to face conversation with the city, as we have not had any opportunity for consultation to date.”
Montrose mayor, Joe Danchuk, appears to see the potential for a somewhat more positive process as negotiations continue with the City of Trail.
“Our B.V. Rec Committee plans to meet with the City of Trail over the next couple of weeks to have discussions on recreation; maybe this is also a chance for us to start a dialogue on boundary mitigation,” Danchuk said in his portion of the media release. “There is a very healthy tax base in the industrial park and there are many ways for parties to find a win-win for all stakeholders. I look forward to moving these discussions forward.”
Cecchini, is unwavering in her determination that Fruitvale residents are protected in any negotiations with the city.
“We are happy to review Trail’s position on how mitigation might look, from their perspective, should the expansion proceed,” she stated in the release. “We have been in regular and ongoing communication with the ministry staff, and are very clear on process.
“We need to be clear that our position remains the same; we will not accept a tax increase for our residents, or any reduction in services, not now, or in the future, because of a boundary extension.”
Until Trail receives a response from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development on the proposal, and discussions begin, progress between the city and Beaver Valley would appear to be at a standstill.