Opinion

Our take: Duncan and area should fund sportsplex

The Cowichan Sportsplex was built thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers and fundraisers to fill an enormous gap in our recreation community.

Phased in with a series of projects that began more than a decade ago, the sportsplex is a wonderful facility, a testament of what this community can come together to accomplish in the wake of an embarrassing lack of recreation funding through our school system, and an unwillingness from local government at the time to support the same.

In recent years, the CVRD has recognized the facility’s worth through a grant of more than $140,000. But the fact that funding can be pulled at any time creates an uneasy operating environment and makes it difficult to plan for the future.

It’s time to correct that situation by making sportsplex funding a regular line item in the CVRD budget.

The referendum answers around the valley’s rim will be a predictable ‘no.’ We wonder why the CVRD is wasting time even asking. This facility serves and is a source of pride for Duncan (the actual community, not those living within the city boundaries), not the entire region.

But the residents within a 15-minute radius — essentially areas D and E — use and benefit from the sportsplex just as much as any other publicly funded recreation facility.

They should get on board, as should the City of Duncan and the south end of North Cowichan.

The sportsplex has more than demonstrated its worth to the community. Giving it dedicated annual funding is not going to create a new tax, just eliminate the arbitrary nature of the current grant. New costs to the taxpayer will be negligible.

Let’s get it done.

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