No changes are anticipated for recreation facilities regardless of how the amalgamation referendum goes. (Citizen file)

No changes are anticipated for recreation facilities regardless of how the amalgamation referendum goes. (Citizen file)

Recreation unlikely to change with amalgamation

North Cowichan and Duncan currently operate separate recreational facilities

Patrons of recreation and sports venues in the Cowichan Valley shouldn’t expect any changes, regardless of how the amalgamation referendum turns out.

“We don’t anticipate any impact,” said Ernie Mansueti, North Cowichan’s director of parks, forestry and recreation.

North Cowichan and Duncan currently operate separate recreational facilities, and it is likely that they would continue to be operated by a new municipal body if one is established. McAdam and Rotary parks are the major facilities run by the City of Duncan, while Fuller Lake Arena is one of the bigger venues in North Cowichan that would be affected. Duncan already has a stake in the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, which is operated by North Cowichan.

“The money they are paying into our facilities, whether it is one municipality or two, that won’t change,” Mansueti explained, noting that logistics would have to be worked out by the transition manager.

Amalgamation also shouldn’t effect the Cowichan Sportsplex, which is operated by an independent society, but which the municipalities pay into.

Any discussion of regional recreation, which is also under consideration for a possible referendum across the Cowichan Valley Regional District, is also unlikely to be affected by amalgamation.