Rosslander breaks down the recreation breakdown - calls for action
As many Rosslanders know we are being charged a higher rate to use all City of Trail, Trail Parks and Recreation programs and facilities. I am one of many concerned and frustrated people (mother) who would like to use at least a couple of the facilities in Trail without being charged double every time I go. Yes, I believe Trail is hurting themselves but I also believe this situation is hurting us and our children just as much, or more. Really, we have given Trail no other choice, this is the only leverage they have to get Rossland to contribute their fair share. From a health and wellness, life saving skills and the ability to have exposure to more than one sport this is unfair to our children.
I have personally been to two City of Rossland council meetings and one City of Trail council meeting to try and get both sides of the story straight. I don’t believe that it is all transparent, of course it is politics, but what is clear is the following facts: Rosslanders used to pay to the Regional District 17% of 5 million dollars,$850,000 just for recreation alone (library included). Plus we pay for our own recreation $43/$100,000 based on assessed home value (2011) that covers all recreation programs wages and facilities in Rossland after revenue is deducted. The last year we payed $850,000 to Regional District was 2007 in full and partial in 2008. For 2009 and 2010 we have contributed nothing to any regional (Trail) facilities. All of the other surrounding areas have struck agreements with Trail except Rossland. Rosslanders do use these facilities too, and I believe we should be contributing something.
Trail wants $132,120 per year from Rossland to help with the operational costs of running these Regional facilities (that’s it). That works out to $72.96 per house hold based on 1797 taxpaying homes and that was defeated by Rossland council. We offered them $37,662 for the Aquatic Centre and Haley Park, that works out to $20.95 per home per year. We only have to go to the pool twice to pay that off!! Of course they were not satisfied with that offer.
Some other background numbers:
We still pay the Regional District $126,000 for “old debt” some Arts and Cultural as well as Trails Society. Now we have to pay for our Library $134,000 approx. We are subsidizing small groups such as Stingrays, special needs and seniors, what about the rest of us?? My other question is what is happening to the other $500,000 that we are still paying to our City that was once going to the Regional District solely for Recreation. We did not get a tax cut. I was told it is being absorbed into infrastructure. As taxpayers we are already paying more than enough to cover this $131,120 issue with Trail. Our City council just needs to get over their personal or political differences with Trail and see that these funds are going were they should be, for the over all good of our community members, which I must say consist of many young families.
What young families who are not avid skiers or bikers would choose Rossland for a place to live now? House prices are higher, taxes are high and now you have to pay double if you want to use the recreational services just down the hill.
Council has said to me that this issue affects only a very small number of Rosslanders. We will be circulating a letter of intent so that council can see how many Rosslanders want this settled, look for it and sign it! Email your mayor and councilors. You can also join the Facebook page “Rosslanders for Regional Recreation”. If you are curious about the most recent settlement with area B you can find the mediators report on the Regional District website under “hot topics” to help further understand.
Thank you for taking time to read this and think of the overall health and wellness of your community.