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New service model sought for paused recreation service in Area E

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
February 20th, 2024

Call it a work in progress.

For the Recreation Commission No. 10 service in the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s (RDCK) Area E, the funding has been paused as of Jan. 1. The service is no longer responsible for providing recreation grant funds to local groups running recreational programs.

Instead, a new community society is being created to coordinate awarding recreation grants to recreation services in Balfour, Harrop and Proctor, said Area E director Cheryl Graham.

“I did hear a desire from affected Area E residents to retain Rec 10,” she said. “So, I am currently working to come up with a new funding/service model for Rec 10 that makes sense to residents and myself, something we can afford to continue to fund through Community Development Grants without the need for additional taxation on residents.”

Graham had held a public meeting on Feb. 10 in Balfour regarding pausing funding for Rec 10 — with 50 people attending.

Historically, Rec 10 was designed to be funded through Community Development Grants, said Graham, but an alternate approval process was passed prior to the 2022 RDCK election which allowed the RDCK to tax affected residents for the recreation service.

“During the election campaign I stated I would not burden affected Area E residents with additional taxation for Rec 10 if I didn’t have to,” said Graham.
Although Rec 10 continued to be funded through Area E’s Community Development Grants in 2023, in the face of escalating costs for the service and other pressures on the Community Development Fund, Graham sought other options.

As a result, a new non-profit society called West Shores Leisure Advancement was formed by community volunteers. The society was able to provide services to area residents — including a monthly community calendar — and worked with residents for recreation and leisure services that did not fit within existing area societies.
The Recreation Commission No. 10 was previously established by the RDCK board of directors to operate the recreation program local service in Area E east, between Kokanee Provincial Park and Coffee Creek, including Harrop and Procter.

 

Moving ahead 

For those that reside in what was previously serviced by Recreation Commission No. 10, more information on how to apply for recreation program funding can be obtained by email at areaesociety@gmail.com.

This post was syndicated from https://thenelsondaily.com
Categories: General

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