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HomeNewsKootenay Outlet residents to be asked about recreation funding

Kootenay Outlet residents to be asked about recreation funding

The Regional District of Central Kootenay will ask residents of Balfour, Harrop, Procter, and Queens Bay if they are willing to fund local recreation programs through a tax increase.

Director Ramona Faust, who represents those areas, says currently the local recreation service only raises $1,000 per year through taxes. For several years running, she has topped that up by providing a community development grant of about $35,000.

The money pays for a recreation co-ordinator, who maintains a rec calendar, and provides small grants to community groups like the parent advisory council, Early Years program, and seniors clubs to run various programs.

“With the program having been in place for quite a number of years now, it’s time to see if the community wants to make it permanent,” Faust says.

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The RDCK is expected to use a counterpetition process, which means it will go forward unless 10 per cent of eligible voters sign petitions against the move. But Faust says community education and outreach will be needed before that process formally begins.

The amount raised by taxation would be slightly more than is currently be provided by the grant. Faust says it would allow the co-ordinator to look for additional offerings, so residents can have more recreation options closer to home.

“This has been a good pilot project to see what the community needs are,” Faust says. “There are things like seniors chair yoga and dance and art programs for kids. There has been quite a bit of use of the project and we never have any money left. It’s always used up.”

A committee works with Faust to decide who gets the grants.

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