Area E pool contribution would still be small

Percentage wise it’s a big increase, but the dollar amounts we’re talking about are small.

Percentage wise it’s a big increase, but the dollar amounts we’re talking about are small.

And that’s really the crux of the matter.

Some Area E residents are very unhappy that they are being asked to pay a higher tax rate for the pool than they have done in the past.

That new amount causing all the controversy is $8.43 per $100,000 assessed property value.

It’s worth noting that not all of the pool partners were thrilled with the original deal struck by Area E, when residents there stopped having to pay the two-tier pool fees.

The City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan by far pay the lion’s share of the facility’s costs.

Some at the municipalities felt at the time that Area E was not being asked to contribute enough.

That discontent among the main partners makes it no surprise that Area E is being asked to increase its contributions.

Opponents to the increased cost cite lower rates for Areas A, B, C, D, F and I, but it’s important to note that the deals struck with these communities take into account the fact that they are paying for the Kerry Park Recreation Centre and the Cowichan Lake Recreation Centre, respectively, as electoral areas further south pay into the Ladysmith pool and are thus not subject to two-tier fees for the Duncan pool.

Striking deals with these areas was a small step towards regional recreation funding, which for decades has been a virtually impossible sell and thorn in the side of the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

Area E is not party to these other recreation centre agreements.

Any steps on the road to regional funding are positive, as we’ve seen first-hand how trying to get any kind of agreement to even sub-regional funding for things at the CVRD board table can be like pushing a boulder up a mountain — repeatedly.

It’s also important to note that there was a significant group in Area E who wanted equal standing at the pool and were willing to pay to get it.

The dollars proposed now are still small, but a little more fair.