Friday, January 15, 2016

Recreation Centre concerns outlined by Councillor Niesh

Policy issues related to the use
of Civic Centre facilities were
raised at Monday's Council meeting

For the second time in recent months, a concern related to policy issues at the city's recreation facilities has become part of the public discussion, this time raised by City Councillor Wade Niesh, who took some of the time at Monday night's Council Session to outline some background on what he calls the unacceptable the treatment of one of the clients at the Civic Centre.

The issue came to his attention as part of his job as a contractor, when he was asked to help the club try and find a new location to set up their operations, something that caught his attention, surprising him a bit and spurring him on to investigate the reasons why a bit further.

Noting that he was raising the issue on his own and not on behalf of a local gymnastics club, Niesh asked for City staff to investigate a situation where the local club has been told that they would no longer be allowed storage space at the Civic Centre as of May, requiring the club to find a new storage space outside of the Recreation Complex for materials used as part of their activities there.

He outlined for council that in his opinion, the city should be trying to retain current clients and find new ones for the Civic Centre, adding that he was concerned that the gymnastics Club may move out and with that take away revenue from their use of the City facility.

Councillor Wade Niesh raised concerns
Monday over the treatment of a client at the
Civic Centre complex
Mr. Niesh further expressed his concern at the treatment of the club by recounting one suggestion that they had been made by the Civic Centre management, that Club should buy a trailer and tow their material back and forth.

Something that the Councillor noted that for him, was not an acceptable suggestion by the City.

Councillor Cunningham agreed with Councillor Niesh's concerns, while first noting that it was the first he had hear of the an issue, added that it is the kind of topic that should be brought to the attention of the Recreation Commission.

He observed that he did not see any reason why the Club could not be accommodated by the Recreation Centre, noting how "they pay taxes and that taxes run that building", reminding Council that "they are a customer and client of the Civic Centre should be taken care of".

It's not the first time that a user group has offered up concerns over civic centre rental policies, with a local basketball league having had issues related to the use of the seating at the Russel Gamble Gym late in 2014

At that time they had requested a meeting with the Mayor to sort out the difficulties which by all accounts had be resolved.

The topic from Monday night may get a further review at the Recreation Commission later this month, Councillor Cunningham suggested that the Gymnastic club get a hold of him and that they be invited to attend that session to bring the matter to the table.

That forum should provide for an opportunity to ask questions of the Recreation Commission and hopefully to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all.

You can review the discussion on the issue from the City's Video Archive it runs from the 1 hour fifty minute mark to one hour fifty three minutes.

For more items related to Monday's Council session see our Council timeline feature here.

More background on City Council discussions see our Council archive page.

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