Non Trail Residents to Pay Higher Rates for Trail Facilities

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
April 30th, 2009

Like using the pool in Trail? Or any of the other recreational facilities and/or programs in the Silver City, for that matter? If so and you happen to be from Rossland, or anywhere other than Trail, from now on it’s going to cost you. 

Following the collapse of the regional recreation program, the city of Trail is moving to initiate a “Trail Resident Program” to gain back the financial shortfall the city now faces in operating its recreational facilities and programs. Mayor Dieter Boggs announced at a Trail council meeting on April 27th that the city will be initiating the program because “adequate compensation could not be agreed to with any neighbouring community in the Greater Trail Area.” 

The new program will see a fee system implemented for the use of facilities and services in Trail by non-Trail residents. Non-Trail residents are considered to be anyone living in Fruitvale, Montrose, Rossland, Warfield and Electoral Areas A and B. 

Facilities affected by the new program include the Trail Memorial Centre, Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Willi Kraus Field house, community parks (including ball fields and tennis courts) and some recreation programming. 

Mayor Boggs was unavailable for comment despite the Telegraph’s leaving several messages over the course of the week. In a press release, Boggs is quoted as saying,

“For the past six months or so, and since the regional system was effectively dissolved, we have tried to find a way to have all neighbouring communities share in the costs of Trail’s recreation and cultural services but no fair solution could be found. Now we have had to institute a dual fee system with residency cards to help make up the property tax shortfall. This was not council’s first choice, but we have been effectively forced to process in this way.” 

For Trail residents to take part and received the lower fee structure they will have to verify their status with a driver’s license and current property tax statement or utility bill with their name and address on it. Renters will have to provide a signed utility bill verified by their landlord to receive their resident card. 

Non-Trail residents are able to purchase a residency card to receive the lower rates, but the cost to do so will not be cheap. Rosslanders and all other non-Trail residents will now be faced with, in some cases, drastically increased fees to use Trail facilities such as the Aquatic Centre. While the proposed new rates will not be released to the public until Monday May 11th, with the bylaw scheduled to be up for adoption on May 25th, estimates by Trail Council show that the average non-Trail family’s charges would be in the realm of $1,000 annually. This fee is for the privilege of paying the lower rates.

To some this may seem an unfair burden on largely young families with kids playing hockey and in recreation programs and such. Others might suggest that some of the money Rossland saves not being part of regional recreation should be used in some fashion to offset the costs of Rossland citizens using Trail facilities, especially for facilities such as the aquatic center which are unique in the region and unavailable in Rossland. These are just two possible suggestions; many of you likely have more and better.

The program, if adopted on May 25th, will have a staggered implementation with the city hoping everyone will pick up their cards before September 7th when the program will be in full operation

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