Indoor pool vote signals a new attitude in the region
In researching the information for This Date in History, I came across the issue of citizens wanting an indoor pool several times. Every few years, the issue arose from some members of the public who strongly wanted the facility.
It is now a reality after the M.D. of Big Lakes plebiscite vote Sept. 4.
For the record, I'm against the construction of this facility but it didn't take me long to figure out the vast majority of people want it. The vote clearly indicated the desire in the M.D. for the indoor pool. Had a vote been held in town, it may have been even higher in favour as the people here are far more likely to use the facility.
The reason I'm against the indoor pool is I have not been convinced we can afford it. Sure, it's easy to build an indoor pool but they are extremely expensive to operate. Operating deficits have been cited well over $100,000 a year.
In speaking with citizens, some agreed and said they would vote no. But many others - clearly a majority as I soon discovered - never heard any words of my warning. They wanted this facility so bad they were willing to foot the bill.
And so be it. That's the way it should be in a proper democracy.
The councils in High Prairie and the M.D. do not need to be told of the service demands on them. They hear about them each day and range from street sweeping, snow removal, recreation, gas, water and sewer, roads, etc. All these services are expensive to provide and all are important.
The most difficult decision for any community is to decide what level of service they will provide its citizens. For years, the level of recreation funding in High Prairie has been woefully inadequate. The reason is simply because the elected officials did not see recreation as a priority.
This all changed Sept. 4. The M.D. people demanded that the council ante up and spend the money on an indoor pool. For boosters of recreation, this is a major victory.
It's been a long, hard struggle for supporters of the indoor pool and a new recreation complex. They are to be congratulated for their perseverance and dedication in this matter. I'm very happy for people like Garand Jones and Lindsay Pratt who wanted this facility so badly. They had a cause and they scored a major victory. They must feel very, very satisfied.
High Prairie has always been seen as a community that does not want to progress. Constant rumours of businesses being turned away or town council making matters so difficult to locate here have hurt our community. The Sept. 4 vote should begin to change that attitude in many peoples' eyes.
It is ironic the Terry Fox Run is this weekend. Fox's dream was to fulfill a destiny one step at a time. His Marathon of Hope was truly a long, hard battle. His dream is not over but his legacy lives.
In High Prairie, our community has a new attitude towards recreation. The community took some huge steps in its own Marathon of Hope Sept. 4. Terry Fox's dream did not die; let's hope our dream doesn't either.
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