Remember a few years back, when the fledgling District of Barriere jumped at the chance to apply for grant monies to turn a sadly overgrown and untended large patch of ground in the center of town into something that would be a benefit for the community and its residents?
That ground was Fadear Park. Back then we remember there may have been a few picnic tables stuck in the middle of an overgrown crop of weeds and wild grasses where an occasional visitor might sit to pass the time; but to get to the tables you had to maneuver through doggie do and assorted items of trash, which few had the inclination to attempt.
When a number of grant opportunities provided well-over $500,000 in grant money to create recreation and green space within the community, we found it quite difficult to understand the naysayers who complained bitterly about the District’s required matching contribution of $100,000 to the project.
Change is always hard to embrace when folks think they’re just fine with things the way they are; and change that comes about as a result of local government decision making may be especially bitter to swallow.
The improvements to the parks, irrigation upgrades, ball diamonds and sports courts, building of the Fieldhouse, newly paved walkways in Fadear Park, and the construction of the Bandshell have been a source of constant growling for those that believe it to be a folly to want to improve the green living space and lifestyle of the community. “Why do we need that? “Nobody wants that?” “Their crazy to be spending our money on parks, build a swimming pool!”, and “What a waste of time, no one will ever use it!”
We think it’s time to say to those who said no one would be using the new parks, the field house, or the Bandshell, “You were wrong”. So far this year the Bandshell alone has played host to five major events (Barriere Fun Run, World Knit Day, Legion BBQ, and July 1 Celebrations), it also hosts Barriere Bandshell Fridays, Thursday night practices for Barriere’s Got Talent, and a movie night in August. 2011 also saw the Bandshell well utilized, even though it was still undergoing construction at the time.
For $100,000 we have gained all of the above for our families to enjoy now and into the future; we have increased the lifestyle of the community, and given real estate a boost as well.
Yes, we would all love an indoor swimming pool, but the big funding problem with a swimming pool is not how much it costs to build, but how do you sustain it? Swimming pools are expensive to maintain, staff, and repair. Those with concerns about substantial tax increases need to rethink their push for a pool until the community is in a better position to afford one. Once a park, or bandshell is constructed, the cost of sustainability is nominal compared to a swimming pool or recreation centre.
However, as the community of Barriere proceeds to move forward into its future, growth is inevitable; and one day, not too far distant, when funds come available to sustain a swimming pool, we’ll be hearing, “Why are they building a swimming pool, nobody will use that?”.
You were wrong about the success of the Bandshell, and we are now looking forward to the day when we can say, “You were wrong about the success of the swimming pool as well”.