The Municipality of Merrickville-Wolford will be seeking public input about whether to enter a cost sharing agreement for recreational services with Smiths Falls.
Over the past three years, Smiths Falls has been attempting to come to a cost sharing agreement for the Smiths Falls arena facility with its neighbouring municipalities. Based on research done by Smiths Falls, 4.11% of it’s users come from Merrickville Wolford. Based on their calculations, they are asking for a total of $17,475 from Merrickville -Wolford to allow its residents to use the facility free of charge. If the Municipality chooses not to enter the agreement, residents will have to pay an additional fee over and above the registration fee charged by an association like minor hockey and figure skating.
Although staff has put aside the money for this cost-sharing agreement in the budget, council was hesitant to approve it based on the information they had. “We don’t know whether we have 4 or 44 people using the facility,” said councillor David Snowdon at the council meeting. “I have had residents approach me asking that it be brought to them.”
Currently, the Municipality does not have a cost sharing agreement with Smiths Falls.
Instead, they have a reserve fund that residents can access if they need assistance for the fees associated with using Smith Fall’s arena. “I still like the idea of a reserve fund,” said Deputy Mayor Ann Barr. “Tax dollars should go towards families who use the facility.”
A public meeting, survey, or both is on the docket before any decision is made.