Re. Robert Brown’s May 7 letter, headlined Council making poor use of Red Deer’s tax dollars:
According to the Advocate, “On Monday, council agreed to release $200,000 already approved from the 2010 capital budget so that aquatics users as well as the city could conduct a comprehensive business plan and concept plan for an aquatic centre.”
I do not understand at a time when there are limited funds available for the funding of public facilities for sports and recreation how our elected representatives would choose to spend money on a study concerning an aquatic centre.
Many sports and recreation programs in the community are faced with reduced registrations as people cannot afford to have their children participate in the available programs.
Approximately one in 10 children in Red Deer lives in poverty. I am sure that many have seen the television commercial with the young boy applying to work so he can have enough money to play hockey. That same boy and many children cannot afford to participate in our existing programs and facilities.
There is no doubt that having a 50-metre pool for swimming competition would be nice. However, when funds are tight we normally don’t spend money on the “nice things.”
The $200,000 could be spent on many activities that would afford the opportunity for those who cannot afford programs to participate in programs that already exist including competitive swimming.
Council should try to get more children involved in sports rather than fund another study.
What is even more frustrating is that a portion of those funds will be spent on “building community awareness would also be included in the project,” which translates into some money will be spent to convince the community that this is a good project.
It is not a good expenditure of funds at this time.
Let’s spend the money getting more children involved in activities in our current programs and facilities. I would ask that city council rescind the recent motion.