by Andru McCracken
People in Valemount and McBride love their recreation facilities. A survey conducted this winter has been published by the Regional District and many respondents want more services.
In Valemount 130 people responded and they are hoping to see more hours of operation for the fitness facility, better fitness equipment and more space. They would like an aquatic facility, including a pool sauna and hot tub. They want more services and programming for children and youth, as well as squash or racquetball, more concerts, curling facilities and a climbing wall.
Most respondents currently use the facility less than 10 times per year and most often go there are as a spectator.
There is no question that most people enjoy the facility (see graphic); some even suggested increasing taxes or user fees to increase services.
Close to 200 people responded to the survey in McBride, which covered the Robson Valley Recreation Centre and the Robson Valley Community Centre, both of which are operated by the Regional District.
Community members want aquatic services, like a pool, sauna and hot tube or spray park, improved hours at the fit pit, better programming for kids, better fitness equipment and classes, more seniors programming and more events.
The vast majority of people believe the Robson Valley Recreation Centre and Community Centre both add value to the community.
The comment that came up to an open ended question about the facilities was the need to review the costs and operating expenses at the facilities. Also the value that the facilities bring, longer operating hours for the Fit Pit, and improvements at the community centre.
Area H director
Dannielle Alan, the representative for the Canoe Robson Valleys to the regional district said that they would continue to stay in touch with the community.
“The more heads we can get around the table the smarter we all get,” she said. “There are ideas in the community that come forward that are good ideas we want to hear them.”
Alan said the Regional District is applying for money to change out the cooling systems in both Valemount and McBride.
“We hope to move away from ammonia to a safer cooling system,” she said.
Alan said there will be more consultation in the future including some open houses.
“We need to make sure we are spending every penny of taxpayers money wisely,” she said. “We get that. Moving forward, cost is primary.”
Alan said the facilities cost just about three quarters of a million to operate every year.
“They are the biggest budget item for both communities,” she said.