The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is looking to hire a new recreation services supervisor, specifically for the Upper Columbia Valley.

The position, which will be based out of the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena in Invermere, was created in response to the RDEK taking over operations and maintenance of the arena as well as in response to an increase in sports and recreation in general in the Upper Columbia Valley.

“All those responsibilities were under the workload of our current (RDEK-wide) recreation services supervisor, who is based in Cranbrook, but with the increase in workload, we though it made sense to divvy that workload up. It not only allows us to increase the amenities (such as the arena) we are responsible for, but also it gives us more capacity to deliver more services,” said RDEK environmental services manager Kevin Paterson.

Aside from the arena, the new Upper Columbia Valley recreation services supervisor will also be responsible for the Edgewater recreation facilities, the new Edgewater pathway (which will connect to Edgewater Elementary School), the Old Coach Trail, the Crossroads ball fields, the Windermere beach, and — once it’s built — the Westside Legacy Trail, among other amenities.

Not only are recreation services and amenities increasing by leaps and bounds in the Upper Columbia Valley, but also in the Kimberley and Cranbrook area.

It has become too much for a single person to manage, according to Paterson.

“We continue to grow recreation throughout the region, and we want to increase our ability to deliver services. It is a capacity issue,” he said.

The RDEK has always owned the Eddie Mountain arena, but previously the Columbia Valley Recreation Society had taken care of its maintenance and operation.

“With changes in regulations, we collectively decided it was best for the RDEK to take back that responsibility (for operation and maintenance),” said Paterson.

“We’ve retained the same staff the society employed and now they are regional district employees. Other than that, nothing really changes for how the arena operates.”

The new Upper Columbia Valley recreation services supervisor should be in place by mid-March.