I worry that this plebiscite Rossland CAO and council are proposing might be a total waste of time and money if the question is simply going to be, “Would you agree to have your taxes increased to support people to go to and use Trail Facilities?” We have to know the exact dollars it will increase. Now council wants to know real numbers? What data and real numbers are we actually going to compile by doing this?
If you are going to get people to go through this process why not ask all the questions. I disagree with Coun. Spearn in that this should only be about the aquatic centre, why would we exclude others that are having to pay extra for adult hockey, slow pitch, baseball, track and field, squash and racquetball and probably other programs I am forgetting to mention.
Those people might not use the aquatic centre. Plus we already did an elaborate survey in 2009, the data was presented by Hannah Smith in her Nov. 12, 2009 report. The report stated of those surveys completed and received, 51 per cent of the households use Trail facilities and of those containing children, 90 per cent make use of the Trail facilities. I feel that if you are going to do this all again, why not do it right and get all the info.
I would like to suggest a solution for now, forget the plebiscite, and stick with policy 320 (subsidy for non-profit groups to use programs and facilities in neighbouring cities), even at the existing $20,000.
Open up access so that at least the citizens who really want to use these facilities and haven’t found a way around the rules in Trail, can have a legitimate option. It was mentioned that we only use $6,000 of the budgeted $20,000, so council make it easy on yourselves and keep it at $20,000 this year and look at possibly increasing it next year if all the funds are used. Taxes would not have to be increased.
There are many people that are currently able to get around the system in Trail, and will continue to do so. Why would they vote to have their taxes increased now?? They won’t. And it would be too much work for them to change it up and go through a society.
People will still have to make a serious effort to get reimbursement. It’s not like council will be giving away the money to people at the door.
Even if council goes ahead with this plebiscite (which I hope it does not), and the majority says no to whatever the question will be you will still have a large number of people who will want to use facilities and programs in Trail. Hopefully council will at least keep policy 320 or a revised policy 320 in place for those citizens. Let council know how you feel about the proposed plebiscite.