The North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee batted around what should be and what shouldn’t be in its recreation and parks plan at a meeting held at the Barlow Creek Community Hall last night.

Jim Glassford, the CRD Director for West Fraser/Nazko, feels they can’t keep spending money in light of what’s going on in the forest industry…

“I think we should wait and see what’s going on with that before we start adding a bunch more expense to the taxpayers. I think we’ve got to just hold the line and rebuild the facilities that we got. I know that gymnastics and the theatre are hoping at some point to have new facilities, and I don’t disagree with that, but right now it’s just not the time.”

Glassford went on to say that he feels they need to let those groups know that it’s not likely going to happen in the next five years.

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson, on the other hand, feels that those two projects should go into sort of a parking lot in the budget…

“An area that says we are still vested in making a new gymnastics facility happen, and/or a new theatre happen, but only if there is 100 percent funding from another source other than property taxation. And that way we show the commitment that we want to see those advance, but we also give those groups the understanding it won’t be from property taxation.”

Simpson says there is a division between the rural Regional District Directors and City Council…

” As a Council we’re much more proactive, we see the community in the future and we see that you need to keep making investments in your community, even though you may have economic uncertainty, because if you don’t make those investments in your community you can actually add to your economic uncertainty, so we need to get on the same page as a joint planning group on continuing to make strategic investments.”

Simpson says one of those key facilities is aging out…

“The arts and recreation facility is getting older year over year , and like what happened in the past with the arena you can keep delaying and keep delaying and keep delaying, and all you’re going to have to do is go to your taxpayers and ask for a bigger ticket item to replace that facility.”

Simpson says at some point they have to stop saying maybe next year we’ll get a grant, and actually go to the public with a referendum on paying for a new or renovated arts and recreation facility.

He says his preference would be 2021, which would be after they find out if they are successful with the latest grant application for that project.