Wasa Recreation Contribution Service

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The RDEK has been requested to investigate the feasibility of establishing a new service to assist with costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the Wasa Community Hall, outdoor kitchen area, tennis courts, outdoor ice arena, public washroom facility, softball fields, Wasa Lions Trail and playground.

The RDEK has announced the preliminary results of the proposed Wasa Recreation Contribution Service Elector Assent Process.

“Through the Alternative Approval Process, we would have had to receive a total of 71 forms in opposition of the proposed service in order for it not to proceed,” says RDEK Corporate Officer Tina Hlushak. “At

The RDEK has been requested to investigate the feasibility of establishing a new service to assist with costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the Wasa Community Hall, outdoor kitchen area, tennis courts, outdoor ice arena, public washroom facility, softball fields, Wasa Lions Trail and playground.

The RDEK has announced the preliminary results of the proposed Wasa Recreation Contribution Service Elector Assent Process.

“Through the Alternative Approval Process, we would have had to receive a total of 71 forms in opposition of the proposed service in order for it not to proceed,” says RDEK Corporate Officer Tina Hlushak. “At the end of the submission period, we received a total of 22 forms, and as a result, the RDEK will be moving forward with establishing a Wasa Recreation Contribution Service.”

The Alternative Approval Process results will officially be reported to the RDEK Board on December 3, 2021 where Bylaw No. 3068 – Wasa Recreation Contribution Service Establishment Bylaw will be presented for final adoption.

Following the Board Meeting, the RDEK will notify BC Assessment and the Ministry before bringing the Parcel Tax Bylaw to the RDEK Board for three readings in January. At the same time, the RDEK will begin working on the required agreements with the Wasa Recreation Society.

Property owners within the new Service Area will be charged a parcel tax of up to $45/year, which would generate up to $28,800 per year to be directed to the Wasa Recreation Society for the operation and maintenance of several community facilities and amenities. Taxation will be included in the 2022 Property Tax Statement.

At present, the facilities are funded through efforts of community volunteers of the Wasa & District Lions Club and the Wasa Recreation Society. The two organizations are concerned that maintaining the required level of volunteerism and fundraising is unsustainable. The establishment of a Wasa Recreation Contribution Service would provide a stable funding stream to ensure the continued operation of these community amenities.

When the RDEK is approached about the creation of a new service, we look to the proponents to provide an indication of community support for the concept prior to the RDEK staff being directed by the Board to undertake the research required to present the concept to the community.

Over the past few months, the Wasa Recreation Society and the Wasa & District Lions Club have been reaching out to gauge support for the creation of a new service. This was part of their independent and informal effort to be able to demonstrate to the Regional District Board that there was some wider support for their request to investigate what a Wasa Recreation Contribution Service could look like.

Once the Board provides direction to RDEK staff to undertake the work to investigate a new service, there are several pieces of information that staff must compile prior to taking the concept to the community. These include:

  • What would the service look like?
  • What area would the service cover / who will be affected by this proposal?
  • How much would it cost?
  • How will the community decide whether or not it supports the proposed service?

This part of the process involves the Board providing formal direction, investigation with the Ministry around what the service would look like, the introduction of a service establishment bylaw so that the parameters around the proposed service are clearly defined, a determination of taxation limits so that residents would know how much the potential service would cost, and a decision by the RDEK Board around which of the three elector assent processes will be used to determine whether there is community assent to proceed with formally establishing a service.

In July, the RDEK Board directed staff to begin the service establishment process and at its September Board Meeting, determined the Elector Assent process would be done by Alternative Approval and gave the first reading to the required service establishment bylaw so that the public consultation can begin.

These steps DO NOT mean a service is being established. They are required in order for staff to be able to gather the information to answer the four bulleted points above and provide the community with all of the information it needs in order to make an informed decision about whether or not a service should proceed.

GETTING INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED SERVICE:

An information package has been mailed out to all property owners. It is posted on this page in the Key Documents section, and all other information related to this proposal will be included on this page.

ELECTOR ASSENT PROCESS:

The Alternative Approval Process will be used to seek the approval of the community for the proposed service. To learn more about this process, click on the link in the Documents section or download the Information Package.

  • Elector Response Forms were available on October 7th - via request and on this project page
  • Elector Response Forms were accepted by mail or in person at the RDEK's Cranbrook office between October 15, 2021 and 4:30pm November 17, 2021

If you have a question about the proposed service or the elector assent process, you can contact staff or your Area Director (contact details are on this page) or you can use the Q&A tool. The questions asked through the tool are answered on the same page - so it's a great way for everyone's questions and answers to be shared with the community.

Q&A

If you have a question about the proposed service, we'd love to hear from you.  We will try to have all questions answered within two business days; however, there are times when the timing may be longer or shorter.

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    When will the Tax be removed? Or never, as we know once a tax is put in place it never goes away? Also will this tax also pay for wages(maintenance person),like our $50/year WILLD pays for a secretary (instead of elected board member being the secretary) ? It takes a big amount out of usable taxes!

    Mary asked about 2 months ago

    Taxation would cease if it was determined that the service was no longer needed.  The proposed service is to provide stable, ongoing funding for the operations and maintenance of several community recreational facilities and amenities.  Each year, a budget would be presented to the RDEK for approval that would include a breakdown of anticipated costs prior to funding allocations being approved by the RDEK Board.  Typically maintenance and secretary positions for small non-profit organizations are volunteers, however wages and contract fees may be considered operational costs and could be eligible to include with their annual budget for review.

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    Was the Government informed that this tax was going to an organization (like pamphlets showed), The wasa Lions Club?

    Mary asked about 2 months ago

    Yes. The province has approved Bylaw No. 3068 as a contribution service.  Upon adoption of the bylaw an agreement will be drawn between the RDEK and the Wasa Recreation Society.  

    The bylaw includes the purpose of the service which is to establish a service in a part of Electoral Area E for the purpose of providing an annual grant to the Wasa Recreation Society toward the cost of the operation and maintenance of community amenities including, but not limited to, a community hall, outdoor kitchen area, tennis courts, outdoor ice arena, public washroom facility, softball fields, Wasa Lions Trail and playground.

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    Are the 4 properties on Pinewood Road Included in the Tax?

    Mary asked about 2 months ago

    Yes all four properties are included in the proposed service area.

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    Even though I think this is a good idea I will be voting against it for 4 reasons. 1. It is poorly thought out. The taxation area being the same as the mosquito control area makes no sense. A circle surrounding the Wasa area would make more sense. 2. I do not trust the Lions Club to properly manage spending these funds. There needs to be a reporting requirement to the public. As far as I am aware the Lions Club does not do this. A budget should also be submitted to the public each year. 3. Is there an end date to this tax? Covid is being used as an excuse to put this in place as they say they can't do enough fund raising. I believe this is not a valid excuse. If it is then this should be a year by year decision since fund raising should be adequate if and when covid goes away. 4. There was no public input into how this was set up. Just an information session.

    Eric asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for bringing forward your concerns.  The proposed service area was determined by the Area Director as it was felt that it was best represented by those that use the facilities most.  Earlier in the year Wasa Recreation Society and the Wasa & District Lions Club had reached out to residents to gauge whether there was support on the concept of a new service this was to demonstrate to the RDEK Board that there was some wider support for their request.  The proposed contribution service is to provide ongoing funding for the general operations and maintenance of several community recreational facilities and amenities.  Each year, Wasa Recreation Society and the Wasa & District Lions Club will prepare a budget to be presented to the RDEK for approval that would include a breakdown of anticipated costs prior to funding allocations being approved by the RDEK Board.  Taxation would cease if it was determined that the service was no longer needed.  If this proposed service receives the required support and proceeds, we would encourage you to engage with the community organizations and Area Director during the budget process.  

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    What group will have oversight on the spending of this proposed money? How will this group collaborate with the present volunteer groups such as the Lion’s Club and community?

    SeekingTransparency asked 2 months ago

    If the proposed service is supported, an agreement will be prepared between Wasa Recreation Society and the RDEK which outlines the terms, reporting and funding conditions.  As part of the funding conditions, each year Wasa Recreation Society and the Wasa & District Lions Club will prepare a budget to be presented to the RDEK for approval that would include a breakdown of anticipated costs prior to funding allocations being approved by the RDEK Board.  Wasa & District Lions Club will be working in collaboration with the Wasa Recreation Society on the budget to determine funding needs related to the maintenance and operation for the community recreation facilities and amenities,  as the agreement for the lease of the lands is between RDEK and the Wasa & District Lions Club. 

     

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    Are volunteers paid for their specific duties i.e. (carpenters, electricians, and other trades people as well as sitting members on various boards) if so, why are they called volunteers when, in essence, they are part of a paid work group. Maybe monies can be saved if said volunteers were just that, volunteers which in definition means a provision of a task with no monetary gains. There have been many a business which have suffered during covid and have rebounded nicely applying due diligence in their recovery process without the application of additional taxes.

    enoughtaxes already asked 3 months ago

    The proposed service is to provide stable, ongoing funding for the operations and maintenance of several community recreational facilities and amenities.  Each year, a budget would be presented to the RDEK for approval that would include a breakdown of anticipated costs prior to funding allocations being approved by the RDEK Board.  Although volunteer organizations currently fundraise to raise money to keep these amenities open and available to the community, the use of certified trades people (for example) is at times required.  If this proposed service receives the required support and proceeds, we would encourage you to engage with the community organizations and Area Director during the budget process.

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    why is lazy lake not included in the area map. they utilize the post office in wasa, and therefore should be included in the process.

    nomoretaxes asked 3 months ago

    The proposed service area was felt by Director Walter to be representative of the area served by the facilities.

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    Will the property owners who sre not permanent residents be able to vote?

    Roxanne Blundell asked 3 months ago

    Under the provincial legislation, non-resident property owners whose primary residence is outside BC are not eligible to submit an Elector Response Form. Elector qualifications are defined by the Local Government Act determined by the Province. Non-resident property owners may submit Elector Response Forms if they meet the following provincially regulated criteria:

    • 18 years or older;
    • A Canadian citizen;
    • Have lived in British Columbia for at least six months, immediately before signing the Elector Response Form;
    • Have owned property in the proposed service area for at least 30 days, immediately before signing the Elector Response Form; and
    • Not disqualified by the Local Government Act or any other enactment from voting in an election or otherwise disqualified by law.
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    During a time when we should all be thinking about inclusion, excluding landowners that don't reside in this area year-round is a mistake! If I pay tax on a property, I should have a voice, why was it decided to leave people out of this decision?

    Alicat asked 3 months ago

    The Elector qualifications are defined by the Local Government Act determined by the Province. One of the criteria to be a qualified non-resident property elector is that a person must have been a resident of BC for at least 6 months. Similarly, BC residents would not be eligible to vote in other provinces or countries. We can understand how it may seem unfair; however, we must abide by the Provincial legislation.

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    Is it true that all recreational property owners in the affected area who are Alberta residents must pay this tax (if adopted) and yet do not get to vote in the process? We do not use these facilities to the same extent as those who live in wasa and yet we would have to pay the same fee. Is this fair?

    Kevin asked 3 months ago

    Elector qualifications are defined by the Local Government Act determined by the Province. One of the criteria to be a qualified non-resident property elector is that a person must have been a resident of BC for at least 6 months, therefore those property owners whose primary residence is not within the province of BC are not eligible to submit an Elector Response Form in relation to the Alternative Approval Process for this project.

Page last updated: 25 November 2021, 08:08