County Places New Emphasis on Recreation
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Rocky View County Council has voted in favour of a new recreation governance model aimed at streamlining and enhancing the County’s ability to provide residents with recreation programs and facilities.
“Recreation consistently ranks as one of the top four priorities for Rocky Viewers,” says Reeve Greg Boehlke. “The County’s population is growing, getting younger, and becoming more active. It’s time for a completely new approach.”
The County’s current recreation model was established in 1972, and was designed for a smaller, localized population, with few facilities and limited needs. It consists of ten separate volunteer recreation boards, which will now be replaced by a single Council committee.
“I want to thank our recreation board volunteers for keeping this outdated model running as long as they have. Council has known for some time we needed a change, and the dedication of our volunteers has allowed us the time to find the right plan, with the right Council involvement, and the right leadership to move forward,” Reeve Boehlke says.
Council’s new committee will make strategic decisions that better prioritize recreation funding by looking at the needs of the entire County, including consideration of the programs, services, and facilities that the County funds in neighbouring municipalities. This will help identify and fill gaps, as well as reduce any duplication that may be found.
The new model will also simplify and clarify the County’s funding process for external groups.
“This Council has identified enhancing customer service as a priority, and that includes customer service for the recreation, culture, and active lifestyle groups we fund,” Reeve Boehlke says. “We’re putting in place more stable and predictable funding for our regular programs and facilities, and an easier process for one-off or smaller funding applications. There will be more consistency and accountability, but less red tape.”
The new recreation governance model also envisions a move towards the County directly providing some recreation programs and services, and potentially managing recreation facilities as Rocky View County grows and the needs of residents become more complex.
“There are a lot of administrative process changes to be done over the next several months, and there may be a few growing pains, but it’s the end result that matters. Council’s new direction means Rocky Viewers can expect to see more value for their recreation dollars, and they can expect programs, services, and facilities that better meet their needs,” Reeve Boehlke says.
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