With the ball back in Trail’s court during council Monday night, the city bounced back with a statement about its position regarding recreational cost sharing.
The discussion follows a public meeting the Beaver Valley recreation committee held at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall last week, to provide background information to residents in Area A, Montrose and Fruitvale, regarding the end of a recreational cost sharing agreement with the City of Trail.
“With regard to the city’s willingness, there appears to be some misinformation communicated to the public,” explained Coun. Kevin Jolly, addressing the issue during “new business” on the night’s agenda. “And I would like to set the record straight tonight and make the following motion to clear it up.”
Jolly motioned that the city officially state its willingness to renegotiate or renew the recreation agreement, in letter form, with Beaver Valley and its stakeholder communities.
He proposed that Trail offer the same cost proportionate model as the previous five-year contract but include a more flexible time commitment of one to three years.
“This will allow the option of providing a continuation of existing services for residents while the boundary extension initiative concludes and the impacts are more clearly understood.”
Discussion ensued between the councillors regarding the terms of the negotiation, however Jolly was firm in stance.
“This is a re-statement of our position and is based on what we already told them we were prepared to do two months ago.”
Mayor Dieter Bogs said that recreation continues to be a hot topic in Trail and the surrounding communities, “but the issue of support of facilities is not unique to Trail,” citing Cranbrook, Penticton and Vernon as cities with similar recreational agreements in place.
He furthered that a letter be sent to the premier and the annual conference of the province’s mayors, to address the unwillingness of communities to help support recreational facilities.
“This is truly an issue,” said Bogs. “The beautiful facilities that we all have in our communities and the reluctance to help support them is a major issue and some actions need to take place.”
However, Bogs remained hopeful that Trail and the three-person valley recreation committee return to the table to negotiate a renewal.
“Beaver Valley has played a significant role for the city since the original agreement was made in 2009,” he said. “We want to move forward and continue to build rapport with our neighbouring communities.”
Later in the meeting, Jolly discussed the status of the city’s recreation agreement with Warfield, and maintains that negotiations to reach an agreement with the village should happen within the next few weeks.
“The city is currently finalizing several options for cost sharing,” he said. “to be advanced for discussion based on the initial meeting and discussions that occurred between the parties.”