As a follow-up to my letter in last week’s Times, here are several points I’d like to make with regards to the meeting of the arena user groups held earlier this month:
oIt was likened to a game of charades. Nothing could be changed to accommodate the users because all decisions had been made previously, unilaterally, by the town.
oThe chairman should have been a councillor or George Bell. Bell should be asked to give his input. Who chairs sports and recreation?
oThe town taxpayers are the customer. The architect and contractor should build what the customer wants. The council should, as elected representatives of the taxpayer, be sure of the model favoured by the electorate. The Dakota model was indicated from the outset by townspeople as indicated by the pledges.
oNobody in this area has an “L-shaped” building. Why tear the pool apart to join on? This results in too much user traffic at one entrance. Also, then, new offices have to be built at added cost.
oInternational ice size is good for Olympic-calibre hockey and activities but it’s not suitable for other uses. The “other uses” are 95 percent of the scheduled functions. Why not save the $150,000 required to build the international size ice surface and use it for something more critical?
oSide-by-side design provides upstairs heated spectator viewing along the length of both surfaces. “L-shaped” provides only one lengthwise and one width or end view.
oThe townspeople are fed up with council making decisions and then changing their decision without consultation. Given the promise at the Rendez-Vous meeting, isn’t there a moral obligation to build the “Dakota” as held up to the pledgers.
oIf one new sheet of ice is attached to our present arena, the old portion has to be upgraded to today’s codes. This would cost as much as a new sheet so it is not a viable option.
oThe alcohol issue seems to be a moot question. If there is a community need, then have space available. But why not leave the “side by side” alone and add space to the pool directly?
oCitizens and taxpayers, please call one of the councillors you voted for and give him or her your opinion. Let’s make it a democratic decision. Please do it quickly as permission to close Gillon Street is already made.
oThe recent ladies’ skins curling competition televised nationally was held at a new “side-by-side” ice facility in Thunder Bay. If it’s good enough for Thunder Bay and national TV, and has 58,000 sq. ft., why do we need 87,000 sq. ft.? It doesn’t add up.
oThe only reason for not going “side-by-side” was the need for a minor variance. When the local mill needed one, it was done promptly. Save $150,000 by building two North American rinks.
To build the “side-by-side" model, all the council needs is the will as the contractor says cost is the same as an "L-shaped” one.
The “side-by-side” model also has a larger heated spectator and activities area. This is a great accommodation for seniors, the handicapped, and those suffering from arthritis or the like. Grandparents like to watch their hockey players, figure skaters and all who will use the facility.
Kenneth J. Egan
Grandparent of six grandsons, taxpayer, and voter