The fracturing of services and the inability to see the value of sharing regional culture and recreational services is disheartening and a blow to the entire area, says a Trail councillor and long standing supporter of the Trail and District Public Library.
According to a Village of Warfield newsletter issued to residents on Monday, Warfield council opted to disband its 60-year partnership with Trail citing an estimated 6 per cent increase, meant the village “must insure accurate accounting of services used and pay our fair share.”
“It is almost inconceivable that people do not see the value of these services,” Coun. Robert Cacchioni told the Trail Times.
“No matter where you live these services are positive for the whole area and bind the community together.”
Cacchioni was referring to Warfield council’s decision to no longer contribute to the library service or recreational facilities in Trail.
“We’ve worked so hard during these last five years with the library board to make the library an outstanding service,” he continued.
“We’ve invested a tremendous amount of money to expand library services to the Greater Trail area and it is disappointing and a real problem that Warfield has chosen to withdraw.”
When Warfield entered into a cost sharing agreement with Trail in 2009, the village contributed $31,600 toward the library service.
The apportionment was raised incrementally in 2010 to $32,600 annually with no further increases since that time.
For the 532 library cardholders in Warfield, there are two options to continue using the service, according to Barbara Gibson, library board chair.
“This is very disappointing and certainly impacts our budget negatively,” explained Gibson. “Should the Village of Warfield decide they are not paying anything to any library then the only way to support the library is through a non-resident fee of $50 per person.”
The second option is for Warfield to contribute to another municipal library and have village residents register for a card at that facility, which allows access to a BCOneCard and free use of any library in the province.
However, as a BC OneCard holder, borrowing reading material is restricted, books cannot be reserved and interlibrary loans aren’t allowed.
“If you are a young mom with a couple of kids, borrowing books would be curtailed to five,” said Gibson. “And that’s something you don’t see, usually parents take out 20 or so each visit.”
With the library’s budget now looking at a $32,600 shortfall, a meeting for the library board and Trail council representatives has been called for 4 p.m. today at city hall.
“Especially since we have expanded our programming we have a lot of people coming down from Warfield for children’s programs,” said Gibson. “Now we have to meet and make some decisions.”