Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick and Paul Williamson take a tour of the new North Valley Gymnastics facility. (Morning Star file photo)

Letter: Recreation coalition needed

Coalition to contribute to a project that will add benefit to the community as a whole

Re: City asks gymnastics society to consider loan option

The word “confusion” could be added (to disbelief) as a response to the North Valley Gymnastics Society’s second request for city funding, because after sitting through, debating and supporting several previous partnership proposals for a piece of public land and a building loan, or a repurposed building, the proposal has inexplicably shifted to a request for taxpayer funding.

Read more: Society receives grant for facility

The puzzlement is that despite the numerous recommendations of support in principle from RDNO for a community partnership, most recently Nov. 16, 2016 directing staff “to investigate the demand for a multiuse facility and to identify other user groups and work with those groups to understand their needs for a multiuse facility,” the issue continues to absorb council and committee time.

The matters at hand are public funds eligibility and democratic process to obtain funds. The legitimate process takes time, patience and trust. To put things in perspective, it took the Kelowna and Kamloops non-profit gymnastics clubs 30 years to attain a partnership agreement to construct their permanent facilities, under self-sustainability policy. At 26 years, NVGS is consistent with the typical timeline.

On the broad scope, recent developments at the Kin Race Track site create a prime opportunity to bring all groups together to understand the needs and demands for sport, recreation and community amenities in the Greater Vernon area, and to prudently apply recreation funds towards infrastructure development to put all groups on the map with equal footing. Both the “2010 Kin Race Track draft proposal for a multi-facility recreation park” and the 2018 Recreation Master Plan recommendations lay the foundation for creating an inclusive strategic plan and taking immediate action.

Read more: Gymnastics club hoping for construction cash

Optimistically, a coalition including all groups (public, private and government) would work together, in collaboration with the city, to contribute to a project that will add benefit to the community as a whole, and create a lasting community asset.

Pam Hargreaves


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