Rec District opens door to physical therapists |

Rec District opens door to physical therapists

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi Daily News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News | Sky-Hi Daily News

Someday soon, you may be able to buy a cup of coffee on your way out the door of the Grand Park Community Recreation Center.

You’ll be able to buy daffodils in the vestibule to support a nonprofit organization.

And, your physical therapist will be allowed to bring you into the rec center to train you on equipment.

The Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District unanimously approved policies for nonprofit, for-profit and therapy/wellness partners during a special meeting Tuesday, March 9, pending final review by legal council. The policies go into effect immediately.

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The policies clear the way for staff to enter into agreements with all sorts of private businesses, from ceramics instructors and the Boy Scouts to therapists and food vendors.

“The community has given us a directive to run this place like a business and to cut down on the subsidy. This will bring in money that will help us do that,” said Parks and Recreation Director Scott Ledin.

The therapy and wellness partner policy allows therapists to work with their clients in the pool and weight room based on a fee structure. In-district providers will pay $11 per visit for patient and therapist. Out-of-district providers will pay $14 per visit for patient and therapist. These rates are based on the daily visit price obtained through a 20-punch card.

Therapist partners will be required to enter into a contract with the rec district prior to treating patients there. The contract will mandate that they hold a current business license, be licensed to practice in the state of Colorado and provide their own malpractice insurance and general liability insurance, naming the rec center as a place of coverage on the latter.

The same opportunity will be provided to all qualifying therapy and wellness providers regardless of their business location. The rec district will not, however, lease or rent space to any providers at this time.

“We may need to revisit this policy down the road,” Ledin added, noting that the rec center was designed with space to add on for a sports medicine facility or similar partnership.

The new for-profit policy allows the district to offer contract, vendor or concessions service opportunities.

While public comments have been made stating that it would be illegal for the rec district to partner with a private for-profit entity, that is not so, Ledin said.

These types of public-private partnerships happen all the time in special districts and there is no law against it, he said, adding that the rec district has a long history of working with private contractors to teach classes and hire a vendor to run the restaurant at Pole Creek.

As it is, all rec center instructors are required to be on staff, Ledin said, but there may be a point in the future when it makes sense for a particular instructor to be hired on a contract basis instead.

Private contractors and vendors, such as a coffee cart, will be required to provide their own insurance, staff training and certifications and must set their schedules in cooperation with FVMRD.

If any vendor or contractor requires exclusivity, the district will publish a “request for proposals” to give everyone a fair shot at the position. The policy does not prohibit the district from partnering with vendors outside the district boundaries “when there are services or programs not otherwise available to FVMRD residents.”

Contracts would be reviewed and renewed on an annual basis.

Ledin said he has been approached at least three times since January by people interested in setting up a coffee cart in the rec center, and he also has heard feedback from people using the rec center who are interested in having coffee and food available on site.

At that, Larry Burks, general manager of Pole Creek Golf Club, suggested that Bistro 28 – the district-run restaurant – could operate a coffee cart at the rec center. That sounded like a good idea to pretty much everyone present, provided the coffee is good.

If the district does decide to offer the service itself, the contract won’t be put up for bid, Ledin noted.

The nonprofit partner policy will allow the district to partner with organizations to supplement the variety, scope and quality of programs and events offered through the district. While the extent of these partnerships could vary greatly, Ledin said, the minimum requirement for partner organizations is that they be a qualifying nonprofit recognized by the Grand Foundation.

All nonprofit agencies, including those not recognized as partners, can receive a discounted rate for use of FVMRD facilities.

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or

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