Area A candidates answer question two

Columbia Shuswap Regional District (Area A): Director Candidates - What is the next step in regional cost sharing?

  • Oct. 29, 2014 8:00 p.m.

A big step was taken last week towards cost sharing between the Town of Golden and the CSRD. Do you think further steps should be taken, and if so, what should the next step be?

Karen Cathcart

A balanced approach to a shared service agreement allows local governments to improve services and in some cases reduce costs.  A shared service agreement supports collaboration and dialogue that will benefit the entire community.

Golden Area Initiatives was a good example of a share services option between the municipality and the CSRD – a shared service for economic development for our community.

What is the next step?  On-going dialogue with the local governments with the premise of finding ways to support each other and continue the good work started.

Garry Habart

The agreement taken to fund the operating expense for the swimming pool from the EOF funds was neither monumental nor precedent setting. The big step happened many years ago when the ski-hill—arena sharing agreement was put in place.

The town of Golden and Area A have shared operating costs on services for many years, mosquito control, arena, curling rink, airport, woodstove exchange program, cemetery, weed enforcement, library, museum, emergency preparedness program and others.

The step that was taken last week was a gesture of good faith to help Golden fund the operating cost of the swimming pool, and open the door for serious and respectful dialogue.

The next step is to compare numbers and come to a fair and reasonable agreement for all shared services. To be fair to all taxpayers, we must consider services provided by both the town and Area A and consider all sources of potential funding.

As the regional director for Area A, I look forward to working with the new mayor to meet this goal.

Brian Spain

Swimming pool funding with $275,000 of EOF money is not ground breaking in my opinion for 3 reasons.  1. It is only funded for 1 year; nothing long term. Come 2016 we will be in the same position, how do we fund the pool?   2. EOF money should be used for exactly what the name implies; Economic opportunities. Yes, it saves tax payers but it limits our ability to spend on other things i.e. attracting new business to Golden or rural access to high speed internet.  3. This is not a new thing we have many shared services already i.e. Kicking Horse Culture (EOF money), garbage services, waste water services and Nordic ski club. All are jointly funded in one way or another.

Moving forward things that could be put on that joint funding list are the Mount 7 Rec Plex, soccer and baseball fields, through the referendum process.  If we are helping pay for the town’s projects maybe they could help pay for rural high speed, just a thought.  Shared services have to work both ways.

Another big one is a referendum for the aquatics center a large project to share with the town.

Brain Spain for Area A director.