Rossland – Pay to play

Rossland surveys citizens on cost of access to Trail’s aquatic centre

If you want to play in Trail you have to pay.

In Rossland, the question of who pays what for the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre, how much, and in what form will come out in the wash after a month-long plebiscite question begins Friday.

The City of Rossland is asking its residents for their view on the city making financial contributions through property taxation for the use of the aquatic centre.

The issue has been a long standing and sorely debated one since regional recreation was dissolved in 2008 after decades of squabbling among the partners, with Trail finally imposing additional financial implications on non residents like Rosslanders after the city refused to include a pay-to-play requirement in their property taxes.

Currently, Rosslanders pay a non Trail Resident Program fee, double what residents holding a valid card would shell out for daily, monthly or annual usage fees.

Although the plebiscite question is non-binding — using a simple for or against format — Rossland Mayor Greg Granstrom said the outcome will frame city’s council conscience in how to move forward.

“The aquatic centre is a very costly facility to run, we are very aware of that,” he said. “And we’re also aware we have some major infrastructure work going on in the downtown right now … so every dollar we have is precious. We don’t have the nicety of a large industrial tax base.”

In October, 2011, Trail requested Rossland pay $1 million over five years towards funding the aquatic centre and Haley Park, while Rossland countered with an offer of $35,000 the first year, and an adjusted rate based on usage after that.

That offer is no longer on the table, said Granstrom, nor has Rossland council been able to come up with a number they would find palatable.

“That (figure) is somewhat outside of the plebiscite question at this time because we haven’t had a delegation to council,” he said. “But if there’s not a number the citizens can afford, we won’t come to a negotiation.”

Under the notes of the plebiscite, if the City of Rossland were to agree to pay the City of Trail $100,000 per year on behalf of the Rossland residents for use of the aquatic centre, a typical tax impact on a $300,000 assessed home would be $55 per year. That would increase to $82.50 for the same home if Rossland negotiated a higher figure of $150,000.

In 2010, the City of Trail was looking for an average of $188,000 annually over five years from Rosslanders to access the facilities. That was almost as much as the city’s residents paid in taxes to maintain their own recreation facilities and programs.

However, the City of Trail owns the facility and a final figure is ultimately up to them, Granstrom admitted.

If an agreement was ultimately reached, the deal would mean Rosslanders would be able to access Trail’s programs and facilities without paying a surcharge.

Just Posted

Rossland’s Joe Hill Coffee House rings in the season

Show on Sunday, Dec. 16, features some new voices and some old, helping spread Yuletide cheer.

Rossland elementary students learn about business, community

Students’ efforts raises money for Giving Cupboard

Snowstorm called for the Kootenays

FortisBC advises electric customers to prepare for storm-related outages

Rosssland ski bus returns this year — with a fee

Company to offer service from downtown to RED Mountain 12 hours a day

Rossland meeting targets for sustainability, report says

Report card gives city high marks in most areas of sustainable development

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Most Read