At the September 14th Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting - Stefan Hoezler (co-owner of Concrete Fitness) appeared before the Joint Committee to raise concerns about Fitness Programs and the Gym operated by the City of Williams Lake at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex (CMRC). After Mr. Hoezler's presentation - Joint Committee directed their Staff to report on the various aspects of Mr. Hoezler's presentation at the October 26th Joint Committee meeting
In the meantime, either before and at the September 14th Joint Committee meeting (and still is continuing) - members of WL Council and the CRD Directors for Electoral Areas D, E, and F were receiving letters imploring members of the Joint Committee to reject what Mr. Hoezler is requesting, namely a review of all services offered by the CMRC. This matter will be considered further, as I've said above, at the Oct 26th 5:00pm meeting of the Central Cariboo Joint Committee. This meeting will be held in the Rick Hansen Boardroom at Williams Lake City Hall
Now - the fight for fitness programming and the gym at the CMRC has gone onto the Internet and specifically Facebook.
On the "Re-Elect Laurie Walters" Facebook page - Kandee Wilkinson (a CMRC Fitness Instructor) asked the following of WL City Councillor Laurie Walters:
Laurie what are your thoughts about Concrete Fitness taking all fitness away from the Recreation Center, as it is called recreation center for a reason. Fitness is for all no mater age, gender, rich or poor. I don't want it be just concrete monopolizing the fitness market.
Councillor Walters responded with:
People choose to live and move to a community for many reasons. A big reason is the PUBLIC RECREATION available, including the fitness component. The provision of accessible fitness/recreation services is a key component for a healthy community. These include programs for seniors, low-income, disabled, children, minorities and other populations that are not serviced by Private Gyms. The Cariboo Memorial Complex has been in the business of provision of these services for over 20 years, as have most other communities in BC.
It should be noted that local City Councillor Sue Zacharias feels the same as her colleague, Councillor Walters, by empathising the concern of what low-income families would do without the fitness programming/gym services at the CMRC
The real issue is how to ensure the balance for gym and other fitness programs that low income residents can afford without necessarily doing harm to the very businesses that offer similar services and pay a heavy tax load to the CRD for the Recreation Function that makes these low cost fitness programs and gym equipment available. This is best served by a review of the entire Central Cariboo Recreation Function since its' creation in 2007. The time for a review is timely, given the recent desire of politicians to find a long-term solution for the Sam Ketcham Pool and an Indoor Turf Facility.
Let's make sure our recreation programs, in all of its forms, is sustainable, both short, medium and long term - for recreation operations and capital - no matter if you live in the City of Williams Lake or in CRD Electoral Areas D, E or F
But let's be clear - Stefan Hoezler and his supporters (including the local BIA and Chamber of Commerce) has never asked for a complete shutdown of all fitness programs and gym operations at the CMRC. He, along with businesses that offer yoga and other similiar fitness type programs want to ensure that they can make a living while ensuring that public recreation programming and gym services remains available to those who can't afford to attend a private gym or private yoga or other similar fitness program, outside of the CMRC and on this - if everyone keeps a level head, this goal can be achieved