Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:37

Criticism of Elmwood plan is shortsighted

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Editor:


In recent weeks, it has been both surprising and interesting to read the back and forth chatter regarding the development at Elmwood Golf Course in Swift Current .
As a young person from Swift Current who left the city for post-secondary education, and now made a conscious decision to return and pursue a career and build a life here, I’m shocked that some would try to spin this agreement as a negative.
To summarize the agreement, a facility in the city is being upgraded and the City is developing high-end residential lots that will generate significant taxes and attract residents.
Two items that are no doubt, short-term and long-term benefits to our city.  Unlike other recreation facilities that taxpayers pay 100 per cent of the capital cost and only recover a portion of the operating costs, the agreement in question allows the City to recover 100 per cent of the capital cost with zero operating costs attached.
 I guess to some that’s a handout.To others it’s a strategic partnership with a vision to enhance our city.
A common argument amongst those who seem to be against anything the City does is that projects only benefit a “minor” portion of the population or are a burden to the taxpayer.
If that’s the rationale, why have anything? Should the City get rid of the walking trail because “not everyone uses it?” Should we tear up the parks and ball diamonds too and sell them for residential lots because “not everyone uses them?” Let’s get rid of the arenas, pools and kinetic park because “not everyone uses them.” I’ve never been in the hospital here, why should I pay for it?
There are places to live that don’t invest in quality of life or facilities that aren’t used by “everyone.”
They are called ghost towns and maybe some dissatisfied citizens should consider visiting or relocating to one.
In a ghost town, you definitely don’t have to worry about the council, golf courses, hospitals, parks and walking paths.
You also don’t have to worry about the location of schools, water, sewer or garbage pickup. You wouldn’t have to pay for any of those things because they just aren’t there.
I’m glad that the City and Elmwood found a unique way to improve our community.
The taxpayer doesn’t face any financial burden, yet earns an improved golf course which improves the overall quality of life in Swift Current and the housing development will be second to none in the province.
It takes vision to lead a community into the future and I give credit to the parties involved as this is a great example of that.
Scott Cassidy, Swift Current

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