Whether we like it or not, a regional recreation question is about to rear its head again in the Cowichan Valley.
The Cowichan Sportsplex is in need of $1.2 million in renovations as it turns eight years old.
This is not a terribly surprising development for an outdoor facility, which, by its nature, is subject to the continual ravages of sun, rain and ice.
It is, though, one that will likely cause consternation among those who want to financially wash their hands of the facility.
In 2014 a number of areas in the Cowichan Valley Regional District declined by referendum to have tax dollars go towards its upkeep.
Sadly, this type of split is all-too-typical of trying to get regional funding for anything in the Cowichan Valley.
It’s a problem that’s plagued the region for decades.
Some seem to believe that nobody should contribute to anything they don’t use personally. That’s a surefire philosophy to ensure that we have no community amenities. As with our universal health care system, and our commitment to public education, we band together to pay collectively for things that we could not pay for as individuals. At communities, there is a collective good at stake.
Amenities contribute to everything from community health to economic development.
It is incredibly short-sighted to try to curl up in a little shell of blind self-interest.
And so it is with the Cowichan Sportsplex.
This beautiful facility has already allowed the Cowichan Valley as a whole to host the BC Seniors Games and the North American Indigenous Games, among other tournaments.
It is a big part of the reason we will be hosting the 2018 BC Summer Games.
These events bring people and economic benefit into our Cowichan Valley communities.
The Sportsplex has proven itself to be a boon to our Valley.
Now, they need some cash (since some areas refused permanent funding) to make sure we are still able to offer ourselves as a sports event destination well into the future.
Sportsplex officials are hoping most of the money will come from federal grants, with other local governments being asked to come up with smaller, though not insignificant amounts.
It’s something we should pay for.
It would be incredibly wasteful to allow this asset to atrophy, along with the economic benefits it helps draw to the Cowichan Valley.
It’s time to work together for a collective benefit.