Time to move on from rec facility debate 0
The people have voiced their opinion, and council has made its decision.
And while council’s decision to erect a fabric structure over Centennial Pool, and build a second fabric structure as a new arena at Central Park, is not proving popular in some quarters, now may be the time to move on.
Council took the steps it felt it needed to make to address the immediate requirements in the community for a year-round 25-metre pool, and a second ice surface.
Was it the perfect decision? No, but no decision really ever is, just as no decision will satisfy everyone.
Council made the decision to source the buildings from a single supplier on the basis they were ‘unique’ — something council is permitted to do within its procurement policy.
Council also made the decision fairly quickly, three days from the presentation of the staff report recommending the purchase.
If there are lessons for council to take away from this, it’s that the municipality needs to do a better job on its communications with residents.
The presentation to the community on Monday night should have been made three weeks ago. That may have helped mute some of the questions that have been raised in the interim.
It would also have served council well to wait — perhaps not the two months some have suggested, but at least until its next meeting, to give the community an opportunity to have its questions answered before council made a decision.
Let there be no doubt: we have expressed our opinion on the matter, and we stand by our editorial of Aug. 24 when we argued in favour of exploring the funding opportunities for a multi-use project at Central Park.
We had several of the same concerns as those who have spoken out these last three weeks.
However, council has made its decision, and we are satisfied municipal staff conducted due diligence in making the recommendation it did for council’s consideration.
The only question now is whether the YMCA will be involved in the operation of Central Park — a discussion we urge both sides to diligently work on so there is a resolution that will benefit the community.
Because, ultimately, that is what this is about — providing much-needed recreational facilities for everyone in the community to enjoy.
We respect the position of those who have come out the last two weeks to town hall, to rally in favour of a single facility located at Central Park, and to ask questions about the process. It has produced a healthy discussion in the community.
However, it is also becoming a moot subject, and we urge those involved to direct their energy toward something that will have a positive outcome.