News Views: Ridge Meadows

Maple Ridge made the decision to split up, with the agreement up for renewal next year.

Maple Ridge is breaking up with Pitt Meadows over parks and recreation services.

The two have been knotted in that department since 1994.

Maple Ridge made the decision to split up, with the agreement up for renewal next year.

The divorce will be official at the end of next October, giving both time to figure out how to deliver services on their own.

Maple Ridge is confident it can do so cheaper  alone, supported by a 2014 staff report, which pointed out that the latter was subsidizing Pitt Meadows about $200,000 a year.

Some on Pitt Meadows council are embracing the new start, while another has doubts about costs and the relationship between the two cities.

The friction started after the November 2014 municipal elections, in which both cities elected new mayors.

This isn’t the first spat between the two cities since that time, as Maple Ridge refused a request by Pitt Meadows to cede control of Pitt Meadows airport.

Disagreements between Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, of course, go back more than 100 years, to construction of the dikes, when they were one district. In more recent times they were at odds over the route for the Abernethy connector and bus routes.

But somehow in the past century or so they managed to get along enough to share policing, a school board and hospital, not to mention tourism, arts and recreational services, as well as the dikes.

Many community groups operate under the banner ‘Ridge Meadows,’ which caused much debate over amalgamation. But that seems far-fetched now.

If parks and recreation services are cheaper apart, maybe other services are too?

We doubt that, at least for Pitt Meadows.

There is more at play here than soccer fields and swimming pools.

The airport issue remains tenuous.

Whatever negotiations are to occur regarding that matter, or parks and recreation services, we must keep at the forefront what is best for the community.

No matter what is said, we are stronger as one.

It’s always been that way.

Don’t mess with a good thing.

 

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News