Letter: The many spinoffs of a thriving community centre

Letter: The many spinoffs of a thriving community centre

Larger centres started small and struggled through growing pains to make their communities thrive.

I have been thinking about the comments that say why we should NOT be going through with a larger regional community complex.

I ask the people that are opposed this question: How many of us leave this community to travel to Kelowna, Spokane, Calgary, or any larger centre to get a better deal for our buck? Have you ever asked yourself why you do that? It could be because they have better amenities or better deals, so we pass it off as having a “mini-vacation” to travel to these communities.

We are asked to shop locally and many of us do while watching for the deals for whatever we desire. But, because we have limited choices here we consider the prospect of travelling, gas expenses, and overnight stays to get a better deal or to get the items we require which are not available locally. We want the perks of being able to stretch our dollar to the best that we can because we are running a household. And if we are not travelling out of our region, many of us order online.

Larger centres started small and have struggled through the growing pains to make their communities thrive, like bringing in light industry and other service businesses, along with a variety of recreational and cultural attractions in order to attract people and survive/thrive. This has a huge effect on the value of their homes and their community.

How about us? Do we want the amenities and conveniences of other communities? We have the framework which can be expanded on our airport, a regional hospital that would attract people and professionals, and a College that brings in more people to come to our community and stay. We tend to think of the immediate future, like our taxes, but do we think about whether we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in this community, and be able to pass the benefits of our endeavours on to them? If we don’t think towards the future, and only think of our taxes that are going out today we become short-sighted. I encourage you to walk the parks and Millennium at the waterfront — and visit the aquatic centre. Take note of the names on the benches and the bricks. These are people who had a vision for the future — for us. They and their families have given unselfishly to our community and our region out of respect for the area they loved.

So have you asked yourself why your children and grandchildren move out of our community to find a better future? Why is that? Could it be they leave as there no future here for them? We waste our energy now because we fight amongst ourselves about taxes, or whether we allow our community to grow, and invite business development.

If our region is so confined, because of what it affects us today (by taxes), what we need to think of is the value that upgrades bring to our community. We are only getting older, and what better way to add value to our homes or estates. At some point, what we have will hopefully be able to provide for us in our old age and care, or we can pass them on to our families.

These are things that we are forgetting about, with all of our negativity, and not allowing our communities to grow. It is in all of our best interests, to make sure we stay focused, to make our regional district the best we can.

I am not against our Council and our community leaders. Keep them going forward and budget-minded, to allow our region to thrive! Everybody’s comments, whether it’s for or against, need to be heard, but your comments need to be factual. All of us and I mean all of us live on some type of a budget and we look for the best deals we can for our households. We are leaving our area looking for a better deal to stretch our dollars, and we need to think about that. That will devalue our region and take a living away from those business owners who want to be here. We need to think about expanding and inviting people into our community and bring their businesses so we can offer more variety. This, in turn, can attract better health care and better community services and we will not only survive, we will prosper.

Let’s not be turning down opportunities that could come and help us into our golden years and get better value for our homes. Keeping our families in this region will help us, as our families may take care of us in older age. Just think of your children, working in your community, raising your grandchildren here and thriving with a community centre and other amenities that will come. It would be very inviting.

And just to be clear, as I know there are many who will think I am being onesided, if I feel the RDCK or our council are making decisions I don’t agree with, then yes, you may hear from me again.

I believe it is our citizens who must take a stand for what they believe in — and in this case, I strongly believe in the complex upgrade to move us into the future. But don’t take my, or anyone else’s, word for it, do your homework and weigh out the pros and cons. Be the “devil’s advocate” and look at it from both sides. Then, make your choice as that is your right. That’s what living in a democracy is all about.

Thank you to the people who took the time to read this letter and think about the positive things this expansion could bring to all of us.

Terry Jollimore

Castlegar