LtE bug

Letter: City of Red Deer spends too much on short term trends

The Red Deer Justice Centre, currently under construction, will be open in 2023. The question remains will the current court house be converted into Red Deer’s new city hall?

We just spent over $4 million this year on city hall on renovations including windows, and will spend $4 million creating office space in the downtown community centre for parks staff. How much will it cost to renovate the courthouse into a fully functioning city hall? How much more will we spend converting the old city hall into it’s new use?

The reason I bring this up is because I worry that our city spends too much on short term trends, without as much concern for longer term needs. We will be paying off the winter games for years, yet. The city will be making million dollar payments to the college for the ice rink for years. Nearly a million on signage. Money for rodeos etc. that yield negative results.

Do they get caught up in the moment? The civic yards will require $4 million for berms after several other upgrades, repairs and expansions. How much would we have saved if we had just built less-flashy buildings in Edgar Industrial Park, for example? The green roof on Sorenson Station was another poorly thought out expensive flash.

Will the city simply commit to building on Michener grounds or by Timberlands for the euphoria feeling, and have a symbolic sod-turning, just before the next election? Or should they study the Collicutt Centre and it’s massive affect on growth in the south east and replicate that in the north-west? They could hide it in town or go high profile along the QE2 north of Hwy 11A? I fear the city will go with immediate convenience rather than long term planning. Red Deer College uses effectively its location along the QE2 for advertising. The city could learn something?

Back to the courthouse, how much will it cost to renovate to convert to a city hall? Will that mean 20 years before we build the aquatic centre? Just asking.

Garfield Marks, Red Deer

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