The Edgewater Recreation Society held its annual general meeting on Thursday, April 20th and had quite a turnout of community members. After a presentation from the youth centre, the board of directors began their overview of 2104 to 2016 financial statements sparking heated questions from the audience.
The board of directors revisited the financial statements from 2014 to 2015. The statements had only been tabled at last year’s meeting, and the board had to formally approve the statements at this year’s meeting. However with community members in attendance pointing to a number of errors in the statements, the board did not vote to accept them.
For the 2016 financial statements, one resident brought up concerns over the baseball diamond account increasing by $22,000. The board of directors accountant explained the sudden increase stems from merging the ice rink account with the ball diamond account; $4,000 in grants; and fundraising done by the board of directors.
Community members then got a presentation on the ball diamond and ice rink project which included the history of the project, what the board has been working towards, and where the project sits now. Currently, the board has been seeking grants to cover up to $153,000, for the upgraded ice rink and ball diamond including the new building to house the Zamboni.
Concerned residents responded with a peppering of questions on the project, with one resident demanding to know why have the community had not heard about this project before, saying I do not see this as completely transparent.
Another concern residents had was over the heating cost of the new building because the Zamboni has to be in a warm building throughout the winter. The residents pressed to learn more about then price tag associated with this, given current hydro rates. The board could not answer any of the questions regarding the heating of the building, saying they haven’t obtained quotes from BC Hydro.
One resident accused the board of directors of favouritism after bring forward concerns that awarding contracts isn’t an open process. The resident asked if the contractors providing the board quotes for the boards grant applications are then awarded the contract.
The board of directors responded by saying when there is work to be done then the boards development policy is followed for the contracting. Board member Angel Wood said most of the work is done for free free labour, free materials.
We’re looking for a lot of people to do things for free, said Ms. Wood.
Regional District East Kootenay Area G director Gerry Wilkie assured the residents that the regional district will be overseeing any contracts for the project.
Concerns over how much the project will raise taxes reemerged near the end of the meeting with the board responding that cost will be covered by grants.
I think we’re spending a lot of money for something we don’t really have a plan for, said one resident.
A new board of directors was voted in at the end of the meeting. The new board will represent the Edgewater Recreation Society for the next year. Community members suggested the board work towards better communication with the community going forward