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Media Release - City asks for a "yes" vote on regional recreation referendum question

MEDIA RELEASE
 
October 5, 2018
 
City urges ‘yes’ vote on regional recreation referendum question
 
City of Powell River’s Mayor and Council are asking qathet Regional District residents in Areas A, B and C to vote in favour of the October 20 regional recreation referendum.
 
The referendum will determine whether residents in the three Regional District areas, except Savary Island in Area A, are willing to contribute taxes toward recreation services in Powell River.
 
Currently, regional district residents do not pay taxes toward the Powell River Recreation Complex but have full use of the Recreation Complex facilities, paying the same as City residents for recreational services.
 
Mayor Dave Formosa said it is imperative that this referendum is a success.
 
“We have been negotiating in good faith with the qathet Regional District for the past two years, we’ve found some common ground and the Regional District has agreed to take the referendum to taxpayers,” he said. “Let’s hope for the sake of recreation that the City and Regional District can share the financial burden.”
 
Councillor Jim Palm, the City’s portfolio holder for recreation, said five years ago the Regional District took it upon itself to do a recreation study and found it didn’t have the answers they were looking for, so the city conducted an extensive study called the Expanded Regional Recreation Initiative Study (ERRIS) report. City representatives visited and met with regional residents at various meetings as part of the process.
 
“We’ve done our homework and we know that more than 30 per cent of the Recreation Complex users come from the regional areas,” Palm said. “It’s time to get everybody involved in recreation in the entire Powell River region.
 
“We do not want to return to what we had 10 years ago when regional residents were paying far more to use the Recreation Complex than City residents.”
 
During the ERRIS process, representatives of the City held nearly 60 focus group meetings, including in Regional District Areas A, B, C and D and the Tla’amin Nation, gathering information on all aspects of recreation in the region. During consultations with Regional District residents, a common theme was that the residents did not know they were not supporting recreation services in Powell River through taxation.
 
According to the referendum question, residents in the areas of the qathet Regional District being polled would pay $10.47 per $100,000 of assessed value per annum, or the qathet Regional District would provide the City of Powell River a maximum annual taxation of $178,500, whichever amount is greater.
 
Palm said the cost to Regional District residents of supporting the Recreation Complex for a house and property worth $300,000 would be about $32 per year. City residents pay about $341 per year for recreation taxation for the same assessed value ($113.68 per $100,000 of assessed value).
 
“The price of recreation taxation for an average house in the Regional District would be the price of a few lottery tickets per year,” Palm said. “Passing regional recreation would make it fairer across the board for residents from across the entire region.”
 
Palm said the amount being requested in the Regional District referendum is 32 per cent of what the City was requesting of the qathet Regional District for recreation taxation.
 
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For more information, contact:
Mayor Dave Formosa
City of Powell River
(604) 485-8601
 

Event date: 
Friday, October 5, 2018 - 11:15am

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