The recent vote in Castlegar for the proposed expansion of the community complex was 57 per cent in favour and 43 per cent against, not an overwhelming majority, especially since only 39.5 per cent of citizens voted.
With all due respect to Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, who wondered why the proposed plan was not passed, some of the proposed changes are not necessary and even frivolous. The sandy beach next to the added exercise pool comes to mind. The caretaker would be gnashing his teeth while cleaning the floors and the plugged shower drains would be an inconvenience and costly to maintain. People don’t want extravagant changes they aren’t going to use nor want to pay for.
Secondly, not all homeowners have high incomes. Many are just getting by. With the cost of food, gas, and yes, even water rising, there is less disposable income for citizens to spend at local businesses. City council needs to understand the ramifications of imposing higher (house) taxes.
Why does the Regional District of Central Kootenay take an “all or nothing” approach? Instead, add an amenity we don’t yet have. An indoor walking and running track is desperately needed and should have been built above the existing rink long ago. Unlike Trail and Nelson, we do not have an indoor mall. All citizens need a safe place to walk in winter, especially seniors. With fewer broken hips and legs, hospital beds in our area would be freed up. We would live longer, healthier lives. (Care homes are already scarce.)
In 2021, three years from now, British Columbia will be 150, having joined Confederation in 1871. I feel certain some needed additions to our community complex, such as the walking track, could be funded by grants commemorating the occasion.
Leona Ann Friesen