Both the Town and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District are celebrating a win this week after coming to an agreement to fund the Golden Municipal Swimming Pool using Economic Opportunity Funds (EOF).
The agreement was formally ratified by the CSRD last week and will ease the burden placed on taxpayers of Golden, as the Town previously footed the $275,000 annual bill to operate the pool.
“It’s pretty monumental,” she Mayor Christina Benty. “What it does is recognizes the regional nature of the pool and of recreational services. It’s a huge cost to municipal taxpayers that is now going to be done through the EOF.”
EOF is money that can be used for services that benefit residents of both Golden and Area A.
The decision to jointly fund the pool comes as the Town and the CSRD continue to explore shared services agreements for services that have benefits to residents of both Golden and Area A.
Kicking Horse Culture and the Nordic Ski Club have similarly received funding through EOF.
Area A Director Garry Habart prefers this method over taxation.
“Funding through taxation is tough for me…in order to get tax money for that it would have to be through a referendum,” Habart said. “(The EOF) is community economic development money…and I think that kind of money should be used for swimming pools and arenas and even Kicking Horse Culture is being funded by that. In my view, that’s what those funds should be used for.”
The agreement is just for 2015, but Mayor Benty hopes that it will set a precedent for the future of both the pool and other opportunities for cost-sharing.
“The very fact that there is a recognition that this facility serves Golden and area, I think it opens the door and allows for that conversation to take place,” she said.