What continually pisses me off is the fact that the usual suspects have no plan or vision. They stumble from one bad decision to the next. I would think that the first thing a council would do before they drag all the ice schedule back to Eddie Bush is get some consistency in opening hours in the businesses downtown, then find out what BIA is doing itself to entice those hockey folks business. Which I am guessing would have been part of the consultations that Keith Hull was talking about in his first motion. But no they arrogantly just forge ahead. I’m pleased that it isn’t just me, I was fuming last night as I was reading Scoops live blog. The following are some comments by others regarding my post about it.
Cheryl Nicholls Jones
Please help me here. I understood that there was a dire need for extra ice in this town and the creation of the sand shack/arena was a wise decision. Now there seems to be a war of the arenas which seems to denote choice and an extraordinary amount of free ice time??? Have we spent a large amount of tax dollars on something that is not necessary?? Who did this benifit is a question that needs to be asked and I’m asking?
Cheryl, who “benefited”, has been asked, FOI’d & investigated, for over a year. I have no doubt that when the truth comes out, there will be few who are surprised by the answers.
I must be missing something, didn’t Collingwood build the arena because of the demand for ice time? I guess that wasn’t the case.
That’s what they told us Philip. I have no doubt that we needed more ice, and if council had listened to the public, and paused for a couple of weeks to “Do it once, do it right”, this new issue would have been addressed at that time.
There are so many comments to make for this meeting that I don’t know where to start.
Our new arena, Collingwood’s “ipad”, the facility that Ed Houghton told me he was designing a beautiful facade for so that it would not look like an industrial building is now second fiddle to an old rink in need of millions of dollars in repairs. I do believe that we needed another rink but at this point it seems a shame that greenspace and a ball diamond were sacrificed for a Central Park Arena that now does not need to be so central.
It also boggles my mind that a small investment to receive a large grant to improve the health of children was questioned by some of our councillors under the guise of being cost-conscious. Just like the Active Transportation proposal. But these same councillors spent $100, 000 on a dog park and $1 million on a left hand turn lane that we didn’t really need and may never get.
All of this speaks to the fact that this council does not have a vision for promoting the heath of its citizens. Prior to making their decision about the Sprung structures this council had an amazing opportunity. They had $14 million from the Collus sale. A huge down payment on a centralized recreation facility that would have served the needs of our community in so many more ways than the two facilities that we have today. Instead the money is spent, an opportunity lost, the Eddie Bush needs $2-3 million in repairs and interest groups are arguing over where the hockey games should be played.
You are right on all counts Mike, but it is what it is, and we now have these 2 “new” facilities, and no vision on what to do with the Eddie Bush. We need the next council to find the best way to utilize the Sprung structures (something that should have been done before they were ever built), an one that can figure out what the best use is for the Eddie Bush, based on the future of the town, not simply sentiment.
Watching Council debate this Eddie Bush issue last night was nothing short of a circus. Even our shallow Mayor was getting testy as deliberations dragged on. It would now appear that we do indeed have too much ice capacity if a motion can be passed whereby at someone’s discretion all “prime time” events are to be held at Eddie Bush. So is the tent going to sit idle 50% or more of the time? With there reportedly being two dozen or more different sets of operating hours for downtown business, I’m not clear on what “prime time” is or how it will unilaterally benefit stores and other businesses in the downtown core. In any event, this is certainly not the solution to the economic vitality of the downtown that is a matter far too complex to discuss here. Given the minimal amount of thought that went into the purchase of the two Sprung structures, why should any of us be surprised about how this whole situation has turned out? It’s a clear case of business planning (or lack thereof) at its worst. No overall long term vision to start with, no attention paid to the needs of the community at various levels including business, no clearly defined implementation strategy integrating the use of the two arenas to maximize benefits to the entire community and as we all know, no well executed purchasing practice re: a $13 million expenditure. Brian Saunderson said it best when he said that Council has saddled us with an Albatross for years to come while some on Council maintain they have provided a “tax-neutral” solution to our recreational needs. If it wasn’t costing us so much in so many different ways that statement would be laughable. Unfortunately none of us can afford to laugh at this price.
I just finished skating at day time program. Let me see, what am I going to do now?
Sporting goods stores
1000 people per week from Eddie Bush. Who on Main Street would gain business? Lets push it, sporting goods store and restaurants maybe… so sell me a cup of coffee and bagel with a pair of skate laces to go please. If this the BIA economic renewal program close up now. Just remember as you sip your coffee its cost extra 25 per half hour for parking.
What this town needs is a well thought out economic renewal program.