MAY 22 LETTER: History repeating itself with recreation situation

The voters of Area D were asked to approve a project to expand the aquatic centre but the voters said no.

Editor:

Coincident with the November 2011 municipal elections, the voters of Grand Forks and Area D were asked to approve a project to expand the aquatic centre to accommodate a state-of-the-art exercise facility. The voters said no.

In January 2013, there was a flyer entitled “Facility Expansion Back On The Table” sitting on the front counter of the aquatic centre.  The chair of the Grand Forks and District Recreation Commission Gene Robert (formerly a city councillor) invited public feedback on the proposed 3,000 square-foot expansion of the fitness and wellness space.

On the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) website, under the April 2013 board agenda, can be found the minutes of the April 11 Grand Forks and District Recreation Commission, in which it indicates the expansion of the aquatic centre to accommodate the exercise facility is a viable project and they will pursue the project.

Minutes of Grand Forks city council meeting of April 15, under information item (c), has a motion approved by city council supporting the RDKB Bylaw 1524 to increase the annual requisition amount for the Grand Forks and District Aquatic Centre from $500,000 to $625,000.  Note this 25 per cent increase in funding requirement is only for the operation and maintenance of the aquatic centre as it currently exists.

On May 10, I attended a council meeting and inquired why the recreation commission is pursuing the project to expand the aquatic centre when the voters of Grand Forks and Area D had already said no to that project.  Mayor Taylor, a member of the recreation commission, replied the project is part of the healthy living initiative, there will be public consultation and there may or may not be another referendum allowing the voters another say on the issue.

I don’t know about you folks, but this reminds me very much of the Alternate Approval Process on funding of the RINC Trail project that voters denied (2010) and council proceeded with the project despite the wishes of the people.  Here we go, again!

Sylvia Treptow, Grand Forks