Monday, March 27, 2017

MD Council receives critical letter regarding recreation funding

Chris Davis - At their February 14 meeting MD council received a letter from Pincher Creek Curling Club representative and MD resident Diana Reed dated February 8, 2017, which was critical of the MD's response to issues she brought forward as a delegation last November, specifically related to what she perceives as the MD's lack of commitment to joint recreation projects with the Town of Pincher Creek.  Her more recent letter was of a similar theme, also addressing her concerns about the MD's response to her earlier letter and delegation.

From my story of that November delegation by Reed: 

The Town of Pincher Creek and the MD of Pincher Creek are currently holding their annual joint funding discussions, but Diana Reed (an MD citizen) said she believed that "No longer do we have a working recreation agreement with the town." She questioned the MD's current $100 per capita contribution to recreation joint funding, saying the Town contributes over $300 per capita and "this doesn't seem fair to me." During the question period that followed her presentation to council Reed questioned MD council's willingness to work with the Town, saying " This petty argument between the Town and MD has to stop." She said the MD is not keeping in touch with the cultural and recreational needs of the population. "If the Town is addressing it, why are we not?" She also called Pincher Creek a "sick community" that needed to increase its appeal if it is to get more people to move here to help revitalize it. "Do we want to be like Barrons and Carmangay?" She warned that if a centralized recreation facility is built in Fort Macleod "this community will die".

Here's Reed's February 8 letter to MD council, in full:

"I approached you a couple of months ago with some questions. To this date, the only response l have received was that you accepted my presentation as information. My request from the reeve and councillors now is that you answer the questions that I asked. You have had sufficient time to deal with these questions and give me definite answers as to what action YOU as a council are going lo take. As I stated at the time, giving me the answer "we have no money" is not an answer. I want: to know exactly why you have no money. Telling me you are wailing on the provincial government is not an answer. That is stalling because you have been elected to handle the local business, not the provincial government. You have to take action as a council.

I shall clarify my questions for you:

1) Why, after being informed of the need 8 years ago, has no money been pm aside for the eventual need of a curling club when the majority of the curlers are rural people?

2) Why are you not willing to support a curling club when this community has curling clubs for over 70 years?

3) Why are you not working with the town council at meetings to develop and encourage recreation in this community?

4) Why is there no joint recreation committee to look after recreation in the community and to see to the future needs of recreation in this community" You say you give them money but since you don't know the needs of the community, how do you justify the amount of money you give or don't give them?

5) Per capita we are not doing our share as MD Residents. The fact that MD. residents cannot access the facilities as easily as town residents allows for some imbalance in this share, but how do you determine what is a fair share? If you say it is allotted by a study done by the recreation department as to who the users are, why are you not prepared to match the town support of a new curling rink when the majority of the users are rural residents?

6) What are you doing proactively to maintain Pincher Creek as a viable. community? With the current actions of the Provincial Government this question gets more important than ever. It seems .the Provincial Government has no understanding of rural communities and what keeps them alive, so what are you doing apart from the government?

7) Although this was not on my previous presentation, what are you doing to stop the formation of the parks as proposed in the Castle area? This will in effect stop tourism as an industry in this community and will put several businesses in jeopardy, thereby threatening the very existence of this community.

8) Although these were not on my previous presentation, what is the situation of the cemetery and emergency services between the town and the M.D. Are we being fully supportive or are we nickle and dimeing these services?

Previously the response I received. from council was like a pat on the head. It was insulting and I firmly believe you hoped the issues would just go away.

1 was told that in order to get answers from you, I needed to send you a letter. You now have a hard copy of my letter, I have seen you as a delegation, you have had ample time to consider my questions. I would like some answers to my questions, which you are obligated to give me."

At council's February 28 meeting councillor Fred Schoening moved that Reed's most recent letter be be received and that administration be "directed to respond, outlining answers to questions posed by Ms Reed, with respect to what the MD is currently supporting in terms of recreation for our community.". The motion carried.

Related stories:
Pincher Creek Curling Club discussions continue

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