Saturday, April 23, 2016

Ferraro's on Sunday - Sign the Petition!

Hello everyone,

    Erika Bailey and Tracy McCallum Have generously offered to be in Ferraro's in Rossland this Sunday to talk to people and ask them to sign a petition asking the Mayor and Council not to close the Rossland Arena.  They will be there from approx 11am to 3pm. Please, if you get the chance, swing by and sign the petition. Please pass on this information to anyone else who wants to keep our arena open!

Go team!

Thanks, Janice.

A few words from Tracy:
I was at the budget meeting this is a very real situation and it came across extremely clear that if we want to keep our recreation opportunities ( In the case of the Smokettes the arena)  we need to let the city know how important it is to us. The City also requested ideas on how to make running the arena more cost efficent. The curling club had all its members sign a petition. Perhaps having our year end party and having a form letter for each Smokette to sign and deliver to the council... Or a petition. But to be realistic we need every Minor hockey family and rec hockey family and figure skating club member and their extended families and friends and neighbours to let the city know we need to keep our arena open. Perhaps setting up a table at Fereros for a couple of days with a petition or form letter? Getting Minor Hockey parents, other rec teams and figure skating club involved. After years of dealing with trying to save our school I've learned the easier you make it for people to voice their option the better... People are busy!!!  If all supporters have to do is sign their name to a letter or petition that's right in front of them while they are already out shopping and we take care of the rest I think we will get better results. Perhaps at the same time as their signing asking  if they have any ideas on how to generate more revenue for the arena or make it more cost efficient and we can jot those ideas down? Or ......perhaps a community meeting with those that have time... even if it's one member from each user group to brain storm? We probably won t  get a huge amount of people but we could still get small group of keen people that could come up with a diverse list of all kinds of great ideas? So we could hand in hopefully a thousand letters of support along with a hundred good ideas!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Very Important Information Regarding the Closing of the Rossland Arena, service cuts and Tax Increases in Rossland

Hello Ladies,

    I know you don't all live in Rossland, but a significant portion of our season is under attack by the current city council and mayor.  Here is a link to a public presentation prepared by the interim CFO of Rossland, and presented on Wednesday night.

    While the presentation was slightly modified when presented, the overall tone was extremely "tough on recreation".  As this is the 5 year plan, it is not too late to affect change by speaking out.

    The Mayor has publicly stated that recreation consumes 20%+ of our total budget, when in fact, recreation costs are 12% ($494,000 ) of our budget ( rec. budget - revenue = cost ).  Rossland has some essential service infrastructure challenges to address over the next few years, and yet the current council and mayor are pushing through the non-essential Miner's Hall renovation project, which will cost $600,000, 15% of our total budget.  The Miner's Hall costs $40,000 a year to operate, and has never generated more than $10,000 in revenue annually.  The funds put aside over the last several years towards the Miner's Hall reno were insufficient, so council voted this spring to sell the Rotary Health building ( food bank building) to make up the shortfall.

    Rosslander's will pay an addition 3% increase in property taxes for 2016, with increases projected over the next 5 years of anywhere from 2%-10% annually.  As well, council proposes cutting both recreation services and closing the arena, along with city provided services to reduce the tax increases.  This will affect us and  our families.

    There are significant savings to be found within the budget by deferring all or a portion of the Miner's Hall renovation, and revenues to be realized by selling the Rotary Health building and by implementing or increasing user fees for non-essential services.  If we do not speak up and let council know our priorities,  we will find ourselves paying higher taxes, having no access to ice times (Rossland Arena accommodated 738 hours of hockey last year), and possibly not having our street plowed in the winter so that we can have new siding and a new facade on the Miner's Hall.

    38 of the 50- ish people on our mailing lists and rosters are Rossland residents, approximately 76% of our team.  Trail will be in no hurry to accommodate our requests for ice if we lose our facility.

 I plan on attending the next council meeting, on the 25th of April, as well as meeting with the mayor and petitioning councilors to change the direction this council is moving in.  I would appreciate any help my team can provide me.  Meanwhile, make your voice heard, we have a very strong business case to save our services, and minimize tax increases, but we will have to work to get council on side.