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.
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