Flexibility is the name of the game as bargaining talks continue between Warfield and Trail, according to the village’s mayor.
Both sides met Tuesday morning to resume negotiations following Warfield council’s decision not to renew a five-year recreational and library services agreement with Trail.
This time around, Warfield is looking for some leeway in Trail’s cost sharing “formula” that determines how much the village has to pay the city so its citizens can access Silver City facilities and the Trail and District Public Library through the Trail Resident Program (TRP).
Since disbanding the TRP agreement, Warfield residents have been subject to a dual rate system that has them paying double the fees to use the city’s sports facilities and library.
“What I can say is that we had an open discussion about a bunch of items,” Warfield Mayor Bert Crockett told the Trail Times Wednesday morning. “Talks will be ongoing but as long as there is a set formula in place it’s hard to get into any form of negotiation.”
After 12 years in politics the village mayor said it’s time to end the long standing animosity between local municipalities about what is fair to pay for recreational services.
“I’ve had enough of it,” said Crockett. “I think we’ve all had, and I think the formula seems to be where everyone has run amok.”
All affected communities need to come together and decide on a voluntary contribution, he continued. “This issue will always rear its ugly head until we get together and decide how much to contribute voluntarily. Then we’ll pay it, and that’s it.”
After meeting with Crockett and the four village councillors, Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs is hopeful for a resolution and confirmed a follow up meeting with Warfield is scheduled for next week.
“We had a good meeting,” said Bogs. “And we look forward to talking with them again.”
Since organizing its own reimbursement program, Warfield has paid out about $9,300 to village residents to cover library cards and sports passes, noted Vince Morelli, Warfield’s chief administrative officer.
“It seems to be working,” he said. “There’s been no major hiccups and we try to help people with financial difficulty.”
The decision to no longer cost share with the city under the TRP was made during an in-camera council meeting in March, leaving the city on the hook to cover the loss of Warfield’s $74,500 towards recreation and $32,500 annual payment toward library services.