A collective sigh of relief rolled over the region Friday when the City of Trail and Beaver Valley (Fruitvale, Montrose and Area ‘A’) finally announced a recreation agreement – albeit only for one year.
The deal, which takes effect on Sept. 1, will see Beaver Valley contribute $125,000 for the term which will allow their residents to use Trail Parks and Recreation facilities and participate in its services and programs at the Trail resident fee.
“We are absolutely delighted to have reached a recreation agreement with Beaver Valley,” said Mayor Mike Martin in a press release issued by the City of Trail.
“This is a giant step for community collaboration and sets a new tone for future conversations,” added Ali Grieve, Chair of BV Rec, in the release. “We are especially pleased that an agreement has been achieved prior to the start of fall recreation programming.”
Grieve told the Trail Times on Friday that BV Rec opted for a one-year deal because of the proposed boundary expansion discussions.
“We’re taking a cautious approach because the boundary expansion is such an unknown.”
Fruitvale Mayor Patricia Cecchini added the agreement is a good sign of communities working together.
“I’m hoping additional collaboration efforts will follow.”
BV Rec withdrew from City of Trail recreation at the end of 2013 to launch its own recreation payment system, therefore the recent reinstatement with Trail’s program is of particular significance.
“We did have a very successful reimbursement program in place but it was still difficult for some folks to put the money out front,” admitted Grieve. “This will make things much simpler for our residents and for all staff.”
Montrose Mayor Joe Danchuk agreed.
“In Montrose it’ll be great for us. This will take away barriers,” he said, adding recreation should be accessible to everyone.
“It will make Trail facilities accessible for our seniors and our young families. And hopefully we can build on this for more collaboration.”
The negotiating committees involved in the discussions included Trail representatives Mayor Martin, Councillor Kevin Jolly and Councillor Sandy Santori, and the Beaver Valley Recreation Committee (BV Rec), composed of Mayor Cecchini (Fruitvale), Mayor Danchuk (Montrose) and Grieve (Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area ‘A’ Director) .
“It will reestablish the relationship that will provide the residents of the Beaver Valley unrestricted access to the Trail Recreation facilities,” added Martin in the press release.
“Although we were pursuing a longer-term agreement at a higher level of financial participation, we fully understood and appreciated the concerns expressed by the BV Rec negotiating team. The one-year term provides the opportunity to build a strong working relationship to effectively deal with other matters and allow for consideration of a longer-term agreement in 2016. We would like to compliment and thank the BV Rec negotiating team for their openness and willingness to engage in an effective dialogue that led to this significant milestone.
“We are most encouraged to now have agreements with both Warfield and Beaver Valley and we will continue to work with the communities of Rossland and Area ‘B’ to establish mutually acceptable agreements.”