Friday November 21, 2014

City supports York Lake Authority

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Yorkton Council made a unanimous decision at its regular meeting Monday to bring the York Lake Regional Authority back within provincial regulations.

“The York Lake Regional Park Authority has been running effectively over the last number of years without City of Yorkton involvement, however, the Authority Board realized in the fall of 2010 that they had not been operating as a duly qualified board as outlined in the Regional Parks Act, 1979. This Act requires that the participating municipalities appoint the Board of any Regional Park Authority. The Authority has requested the City appoint the Authority Board members so they could once again operate as a duly qualified board,” detailed a report circulated to Council.

“The Board has no legal authority unless its members are appointed by Yorkton City Council. Although the City appoints the Board, it has no ownership, taxing authority, fiscal or other responsibility for the Regional Park or its operations. The City, as the participating municipality required in legislation, does provide an office and meeting space as an in-kind donation to the Authority,” explained Darcy McLeod, director of Community Development, Parks and Recreation.

McLeod said the City has been working closely with the Authority on the required process.

“In September 2011, the Authority established a Constitutional Review Committee to review the constitution of the Regional Park. Administration also participated on this committee because, as the only participating municipality, the City is the only entity that can approve the Regional Park constitution,” he said. “… This revised constitution was developed using the information from The Regional Parks Act, 1979, The Regional Parks Regulations, The Non-Profit Corporations Act, 1995 and City of Yorkton Committee terms of reference.”

McLeod said there are several key points to the revise constitution, starting with a maintenance of the Authority’s mandate.

“The mandate of the Regional Park remains unchanged as it has been determined through legislation and it states that, along with administering and maintaining the Regional Park, the mandate of the Regional Park is to encourage the appreciation and use of the natural and recreational resources throughout the York Lake Regional Park,” he said.

The Authority Board will consist of nine members. Five from the Cabin Owner’s Association and four from the Stakeholder Recreation Organizations identified in the constitution.

McLeod said the Authority will also continue to operate by provincial regulation.

“The Regional Park operates like a non-profit but is not governed by The Non-Profit Corporations Act, and does not have the same requirements as other non-profit organizations. The Authority was established as a Body Corporate through legislation and therefore only responds to the Regional Parks Act, 1979 and The Regional Park Regulations. This constitution details how the Board will operate, but the Authority needs to refer to the Act & Regulations to determine the restrictions for its operation,” he said.

“The Authority Board can not alter its constitution without first obtaining Council approval, as the sole participating municipality, given through formal Council resolution,” added McLeod.

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