Proposed upgrades at the Castlegar & District Community Complex include a new entrance.

Proposed upgrades at the Castlegar & District Community Complex include a new entrance.

Castlegar council endorses “Yes” vote for complex expansion

A referendum will take place June 23 for the Castlegar District Recreation Complex expansion project

Castlegar City Council has voted to publicly support a “Yes” vote for the June 23 referendum for the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex expansion project and send a letter of support to the Castlegar & District Recreation Commission.

Bruno Tassone was the only council member to vote against the motion that was submitted by Coun. Florio Vassilakakis at the March 19, 2018 regular council meeting for consideration at the next council meeting.

The motion includes official “whereas” and “be it resolved” language, but basically lays out the following list of reasons as to why the city should support the improvements to the complex:

• The city is a partner in a joint recreation service with Area I and Area J of the Regional District of Central Kootenay

• The residents and commercial property owners of Castlegar directly fund the recreation service through Regional District taxation

• The Castlegar & District Recreation Department through extensive public consultation completed a Recreation Master Plan in 2014-2016 which identified project priorities that were brought forward for further public consideration and input through a very open, transparent and engaging process

• 67 per cent of Castlegar residents surveyed supported expansion and upgrades to the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex

• The City of Castlegar’s Official Community Plan identifies access to, expansion of and support for recreation facilities as they are significant contributors to community pride, to the city’s livability and health and to the goal of retaining and attracting people and business

• The Castlegar & District Recreation Complex expansion meets the objectives of all three of council’s strategic priorities which include infrastructure renewal, community wellness and economic development

Castlegar News reached out to Andy Davidoff, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) director for Area I and Rick Smith, the RDCK director for Area J and asked them how the felt about the motion, if they supported the complex expansion and how the felt the residents of their area will vote during the referendum.

Davidoff, who was a proponent of an area-by-area vote — meaning all areas must pass the referendum in order for the project to move forward — responded with one statement that didn’t specifically address the individual questions: “I will honour and respect my constituents’ voice.”

Smith however voiced his support for the project stating: “I fully support the city’s motion. I absolutely support the complex expansion. I believe the constituents of Area J will vote in favour. Whatever the outcome I will respect my constituents’ decision.”