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Start from scratch

Dear editor:

I realize I am probably wasting my time writing this but I feel that I must get this off my chest or be very angry at the “Ice for Kids” program.

When I first heart of this program, my kids were younger and very much into hockey. I also heard of it through work because we have a charitable “Shake-a-Day," where many people have donated the half of the pot to "Ice for Kids.” I honestly did not ever think the idea would get far off the ground but then last winter, the organizers went on a campaign to raise money and get sponsors, donators, etc.—and they did.

My boys are almost out of hockey and my family made our donation. So you see, we must not only be thinking of ourselves when we made the donation—we were thinking of every child in Fort Frances now and in the future.

Wasn’t that the whole point to begin with—the kids? Now it seems that the committee is thinking of everything else except “the kids.”

The plan for the new facilities that I saw when I pledged my donation was nothing like what this committee is trying to do now. Why couldn’t they leave well enough alone? Why, may I ask you, has this suddenly turned into an over-expensive building, not well thought out at all, focusing on many Sportsplex facilities, pro shops, liquor, and international ice surface, which are things that we do not need and things not too many people want?

Who, may I ask, are we trying to impress with this huge ice surface? We certainly did not plan on having anything more than an extra ice surface (North American) to allow the kids to be able to have more ice time. The committee should have never agreed to building the new arena on to the Sportsplex—all this has done is create problem after problem.

I agree that the Muskies should have their own dressing room; so should the figure skaters have their own dressing room with lockers. There also should be a separate dressing room just for the girls as there are now quite a few girls out there playing on the boys’ teams and sometimes, especially during tournaments, there is nowhere for them to change.

We do not need a pro shop—I feel the sports shops we now have in town are more than sufficient at accommodating all of our needs, even during busy tournaments. I wonder if once this was put in, would it be filled with more things pertaining to the ice or more things for the Sportsplex?

I look around at some of the other things that were built in this town (without much thought) and I wonder why you are in such a rush to build this with no thought. What were the problems with Westfort? Why did the Sportsplex need a new floor in the pool (was this the first time?), and why did the Sportsplex need new roofing done again? Why does the arena we have now have those stupid little heaters that must cost a fortune when they could have changed that years ago but would not because it cost too much to switch?

With the money they would have saved after the change, it is possible the existing arena could have had better repairs done and then all we would have had to do was build another ice surface onto what we have now?

What I’m hoping to see, as are many people that I’ve spoken to, is the committee start from scratch again. The committee think about what they are doing and do it right. Tough do-do if a contract already is signed—this is not the first time the town has had a change of mind—so change it.

You may think that what you are doing as a committee right now is going to put a feather in your cap, what do you think it will put there if it fails? This building should be here for many years to come, I hope to see my grandchildren someday play hockey or figure skate there, what are the hopes?

I know there are people fed up out there who have pulled their donations. I know I, for one, am considering it. This thing you’re trying to build is nothing like what I pledged my donation to—why is that? Did you sucker us in to get what you want, or are you genuinely concerned with the kids of today and tomorrow?

Thank you for listening

L. Caul

P.S. Mayor Witherspoon said on the radio the other day (pertaining to the bonding of this company) that “The town made an error!”

Hmmm. Imagine that!

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