A sports rivalry is brewing between the neighbouring British Columbia towns of Trail and Rossland, but it has nothing to do with what happens on the field: it's over the fields themselves.

Trail, 10 minutes from Rossland and home to most of the high-quality recreational facilities and sports fields in the region, has charged out-of-towners higher fees to use their facilities since 2009.

That's because a recreation fee deal between Trail and its neighbours fell apart, and Rossland and Trail never agreed to a deal after a summer's worth of negotiations in 2015.

"We believe that it's only fair that residents of areas that have no agreement with the City of Trail be subject to a higher fee structure," said Trail Mayor Mike Martin.

"I can assure you that fee structure comes nowhere near compensating for the heavy subsidization that the taxpayers of Trail provide towards these facilities."

However, Sean O'Farrell, a player and manager for the Rossland United men's soccer club, says it's unfair that Trail charges out-of-town residents more than what residents pay to use recreational facilities.

His team pays over $1,300 per year to play on a Trail field. If his team was made up of Trail residents, the fees would be closer to $1,000.

"Fair enough, they do have the lion's share of infrastructure in place in their town, but we have a soccer field in Rossland that we don't charge the teams from Trail to play on," O'Farrell said.

"There's not really any sort of rhyme or reason to it other than the City of Trail wanted an increase in fees."

Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore says in the case of recreation centre access, the fees can be as much as doubled.

Youth, seniors, and people with disabilities are getting money back from a special fund created by Rossland council to make up for the increased fees, but most adults aren't covered by this fund.

"Rossland and Trail would like to sit down again and talk about recreation," Moore said about the potential of a permanent solution to the fee differences.

However, people like O'Farrell might have to wait some time as both councils aren't set to officially meet again for negotiations until the end of the year.

With files from Radio West


To hear the full story, click on the audio labelled: Trail fees for out-of-towners at rec facilities unfair, says Rossland soccer team