City of Trail responds to end of recreation agreement

"We remain hopeful that a more critical analysis will be completed and that BVPARTS would practically see their investment..."

Trail City Council would like to clarify the details involving the Beaver Valley Recreation Services Agreement with the City of Trail, in particular the correspondence between these two parties involving the Agreement details.

Beaver Valley’s decision to not renew, renegotiate or extend their Recreation Services Agreement was communicated to the City of Trail via a letter from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) dated December 4, 2013.

The letter, signed by the RDKB’s CAO, indicated, “The Beaver Valley Recreation, Parks and Trails Committee (BVPARTS) does not wish to renegotiate, renew or otherwise extend this agreement.

It is the committee’s intention to operate a reimbursement program through the Beaver Valley Recreation Program.”

Upon receipt of this letter from the RDKB, Trail Council was very disappointed as the City has considered B.V. a strong partner in respect to recreation programs and facilities.  We also felt this should have been discussed directly before such a significant decision was made. Without as much as a phone call to advise, City officials did not know BVPARTS was going in this direction.

We were also surprised to read the comments in Tuesday’s Trail Times story (“Cost to use Trail facilities going up for valley residents,” Trail Times Dec. 10) about the city not releasing information in respects to how many B.V. residents access the facilities.

On June 26, 2012 the City of Trail received a letter from the RDKB’s CAO; the content of the letter addressed the expiration of the Agreement of December 31, 2013 and requested the following information:

The number of Trail Resident Program TRP cards issued each year; How often the card holders in the Beaver Valley have accessed Trail recreation facilities and programs. What, if any, promotional activities the City has undertaken to inform Beaver Valley residents of the programs and services available to them.

In order to address the RDKB’s inquires, the City of Trail wrote a very comprehensive email on July 24, 2012 to the attention of the RDKB.  The email from the City addressed the three aforementioned inquires. In summary, the City provided the following information to the RDKB:

Of the total resident cards issued, the B.V. total is 2867 or 29.5 per cent; City sponsored programs were well utilized by B.V.  Registrations were 475, representing 20 per cent of total registrations received by the City; City made every effort to keep BV apprised of recreation offerings through print and other forms of media.

The email the City provided to the RDKB also noted the following information.

“As you have indicated the Agreement is set to expire at the end of 2013 and the City would appreciate receiving confirmation of Beaver Valley Parks and Recreation intention to proceed to renew the Agreement and further if any substantive changes are being proposed.

It is hoped that if there is a desire to proceed with the renewal that the agreement can be addressed following the completion of the City of Trail Budget process in 2013 so the most current financial numbers are considered as part of the renewal.”

The City‘s full response can be found on the City of Trail’s homepage, www.trail.ca, under Public Notices.

The decision by BVPARTS came as a total surprise to the City; a decision like this is clearly a step backward. Beaver Valley residents use the facilities and hopefully see the benefit in contributing financially.

As well, the need to cooperate regionally to improve and sustain our area is of paramount importance. Greater Trail must continue to provide first class health, education and recreation facilities in order to remain competitive and ensure that we will be in a position to attract new investments and people to our area.

The only way we can effectively do this is by working together. This action cannot possibly be in the public interest if there is an appreciation for these more regional goals that extend beyond each jurisdiction’s boundary.

The City of Trail will continue to have its door open and remains willing to discuss things further should there be a change in thinking.

We remain hopeful that a more critical analysis will be completed and that BVPARTS would practically see their investment in the Recreation Agreement not only results in affordable access to facilities and services for their residents, but also results in a stronger Greater Trail as we continue to try to attract highly skilled people and investment to our area.

Mayor Dieter BogsCity of Trail

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