Regional recreation talks continue

Trail and Warfield are back on the playing field but it’s too early to make a call when a new partnership will be settled.

Trail and Warfield are back on the playing field but it’s too early to make a call when a new recreation/library partnership will be settled.

“We are committed to getting a deal done,” said Warfield Mayor Ted Pahl, following Wednesday night council. “But we’ve only met once so there is nothing we can say yet.”

He was referring to the village’s agreement with the City of Trail that currently has Warfield residents accessing the local library and sports facilities without paying double the fees.

The contract ends in June, and Pahl maintains the matter remains a priority for his council.

The first term politician said Warfield’s negotiating committee met with the city’s team in late March, and confirmed another gathering is scheduled within a few weeks.

Warfield signed a five-year Trail Resident Program (TRP) contract that expired last year. At that time, village council briefly withdrew from any further recreation/library agreements.

The decision, made through a written news release,  caused a brouhaha in the village until both sides returned to the table in May.

The officials agreed to an 18-month TRP settlement, taking into account the fall civic election, which was predicted to bring in new officials.

Warfield paid $90,000 toward library and recreational facility use last year, and $45,900 for the first six months of 2015.

During the Nov. 15 municipal election forums, recreation was a hot topic and considered a priority for Pahl, and current Trail Mayor Mike Martin.

Martin, also a first term politician, prefers face-to-face discussions to settle such a complex issue. He and his negotiating team, comprised of Coun. Kevin Jolly and Coun. Sandy Santori, presented to Pahl’s committee late last month, and requested further in-person discussions with Warfield.

“Reaching a recreation agreement with our neighbours, Warfield and others, continues to be our priority,” Martin told the Trail Times. “It is in our strategic priorities plan, and in that regard we are giving it top priority. But what we are asking of Warfield, is let’s not negotiate through letters, let’s negotiate face-to-face.”