I hope we can all stand another letter about the curling rink, if not I’m sorry.
Firstly I should say that while not a curler anymore, I watch and enjoy it and I know the people who use the facility count it as a big part of their winter. There have been several letters to the editor lately and I would like to focus on a couple of them.
The letter from Reg Radford on March 2 talks at length about the building and is indicating that taxpayers should pay to either upgrade this building (a waste of time) or build a new one. Why does he think that the taxpayers should pay for this? I don’t agree and I think there are lots who don’t agree either.
He also talks about the Scotties next year. This event does not take place in the curling rink, they may have the odd practice down there but it takes place at the Centrium, a building that the city already pays for. I would like to take issue with his statement that Red Deer is one of a very few communities who do not sponsor the local rink. I don’t have exact figures and I wonder if he does either.
Later in the month there were two exact same letters, one signed by Jim Wallace and one signed by Jim Wilson. I presume one of those was printed in error. But I have a couple issues with this letter, too.
The letter says that a whole 2,200 people go through that facility in a week! I say that’s not a big deal considering that the population of this city is over 90,000.
A lot of those people are people from out of town, the counties around Red Deer and some as far away as Ponoka. I’m sure they are paying to curl here, as they should. The letter also refers to the Scotties, which again has very little to do with the downtown curling rink.
I know people enjoy their leisure activities and so do I, but I never expected the city to pay for the facility that I was attending, be it a local gym or a bowling alley or whatever. I know they need a new facility but I do not think the city or the taxpayers have any obligation to provide those few curlers with a new building. Perhaps a small grant could be given and they could raise the rest of the money themselves.
I look at the homeless situation in Red Deer and I think it’s far more important to spend money on providing a place for those people to sleep when it is -40 than providing a new curling rink for 2,200 people per week.