Letters to the Editor: July 16

• Indoor Sports Facility - Moir Park or Balment Park? • Age-Friendly Cranbrook

Indoor Sports Facility

I would like to add my comments to those that Council has already received from the community regarding their recent decision concerning the final placement of the KEYSA indoor sports facility.

In my opinion there is only one logical place for the dome to be built, and that is in Balment Park. For the use being planned for this structure it makes sense to place it as close to Cranbrook’s population as possible. Moir Park is at the edge of Cranbrook’s City boundary. Other than placing it in the City extension at Shadow Mountain it could not be placed further away from our population centre. Many of the proposed customers are the youth of our city not having the luxury of their own motorized means of transport. We have been told that they can use the public transit system but I challenge someone to show me the ease of making that bus trip from where many families live around Cranbrook to Moir Park and return again. For some it would mean having many long waits around any planned activities so far from home.

Balment Park has a large accessible car park which is cleared of snow in winter; this is not the case with the car park at Moir Park. Already the City appears to have difficulty dealing with our snow conditions. There would clearly be additional pressure on our City’s snow clearing budget if the dome is placed in Moir Park.

Balment Park already has the facilities of year-round washrooms, change rooms and potential access to snacks. Are the facilities at Moir Park winter-ready? This could (would) add further expense with upgrading and certainly staffing to enable these to be kept open year-round.

I have concerns with a Councillor’s following comment “The funds from the Moir family and revenue from the gravel pit that resides on the property will go into further developing this into an even more impressive park”. Firstly, the gravel pit is NOT on the same property but is some couple of kilometres away. More importantly, it was my understanding that the funds being retained from the sale of gravel were to be used solely for the purpose of reclaiming the gravel pit area once the gravel has been exhausted. Council has already taken $1 million from this fund to pay for irrigation at Moir Park. Please Council, don’t deplete this fund any further as we are going to need all the funds available to return the Moir Gravel Pit to something presentable within our boundaries and more importantly improve the unsightly boundary it presently forms on two sides of Cranbrook’s Cemetery.

I was surprised to read the Councillor’s statement that the City has been looking at future plans for a permanent City-owned, multi-user group facility in Balment Park. This would appear to be a very distant “pipe dream” knowing how much difficulty the City has in covering the costs of keeping our present roads, under-street services and recreational facilities repaired and upgraded.

There was a time we were able to witness Council discussions and decisions being conducted in public, open Council sessions. Council publicly shared letters that had been received. City staff reports and recommendations were publicly available and not hidden within in-camera meetings.

Cranbrook citizens have still not been given the official reason(s) for Council having chosen Moir Park for this KEYSA build. I have submitted a Freedom of Information Request for a copy of the staff report which was provided to Council prior to Councillors making their decision. With this report I, hopefully, will better understand why Council went with the less than desirable choice of Moir Park.

I respectfully ask Council to review their decision to place the dome at Moir Park. It’s not too late to have a change of heart and decision. While any decision will not please all ratepayers I believe there are stronger arguments to support placing the KEYSA structure in Balment Park.

Dave Humphrey/Cranbrook

Choose Balment

I am writing in response to the Townsman article (Wednesday, July 11) about the debate involving the location of a proposed new indoor sports facility.

While I think that Moir Park is an excellent field venue for outdoor ball sports, I do not agree with City Council that it is the best location for the KEYSA indoor facility. It is indeed a scenic and well laid-out park, but surely the splendid new and impressing visitors is secondary to serving Cranbrook residents.

In my opinion, Balment Park is the best place to construct a multi-use facility as proposed by the KEYSA group. The fact that it will be heated and will accommodate a variety of users, not just sports, is fantastic, and it would be a great asset to our community.

And the community, as a whole, would have greater access to a facility in Balment Park than in Moir Park. Moir Park requires driving for most folks (fuel consumption), or busing (money outlay, plus feel consumption for both city buses and school buses), plus the added factor of crossing a railroad track.

I agree that biking to Moir Park would be an option for some people. However, I would be concerned about children biking on roads that serve a lot of industrial road traffic. And walking to Moir Park would not be an option for many people. I have timed a walk from my house to both location. Even though Moir Park was only an additional 10 minutes of walking, I certainly wouldn’t consider it in the winter time, whereas I might do so to Balment Park. Apart from weather considerations, there are few sidewalks long Industrial Road No. 2, past the intersection of 6th Street North and Cranbrook Street, and none past the Theatre Road intersection by Home Depot. Would the City be planning to construct sidewalks and crosswalks along these roadways?

All these issues would impact a lot of potential users/spectators, whereas Balment Park is accessible by walking, shorter drives or bike rides, and offers proximity to schools, COTR, neighborhoods, apartment dwellers and seniors residences.

As a taxpayer, I feel I must voice my preference for the Balment Park location, and it seems to me that time is of the essence if we are to take advantage of the great opportunity that this local group is willing to pursue. I have not read the KEYSA group’s business plan, but I would expect that contains their preference for location and the reasons for it. Has Council given this information due consideration?

Thank you all for considering this input.

Maureen Quinn/Cranbrook

Age Friendly Cranbrook

To the residents of Cranbrook and Area C;

I would like a moment of your time. My name is Doug Newberry, I am the Vice-Chair of the Cranbrook Age Friendly Advisory Committee. As you may have noticed, the demographics in Cranbrook are changing. Currently 36% of Cranbrook’s population is 55 plus, by 2035 it will increase to 41%. This is not an isolated trend. This is happening provincially, throughout Canada and worldwide.

Who is the Cranbrook Age Friendly Advisory Committee you may ask? No, we the committee members, are not City of Cranbrook employees. We are a group of concerned citizens. Several of us representing numerous service organizations that bring various strengths and view points to the Age Friendly Advisory Committee. The City has appointed Councillor Ron Popoff to the Committee.

We want to ensure that Cranbrook is well positioned to meet the challenges of an aging population by having a strong, vibrant, action plan in place to chart a course for the future of our community. We are working with you and for the residents of Cranbrook, young and old, to determine what resources and services we have in place today, how we can improve them or what additional actions may be needed. Only with your input can we be successful!

To gain your needed input the committee has launched a community assessment survey. This survey asks questions about the 8 keys areas of an Age Friendly Community and how the City of Cranbrook measures up. It requires approximately 20 minutes of your time. It can be completed on-line from our website or in paper form if you are more comfortable with that format. Your input from the survey will determine the priorities, importance and changes needed. Collective responses will form the foundation of the Age Friendly action plan for the City of Cranbrook. This plan will become an action plan to enable the City of Cranbrook to be better positioned to meet the challenges as our population ages.

Some of you may think, nothing will come of this! Why should I waste my time? Nobody listens to me!

I would like you to consider this. Has what you have been doing to date accomplished anything? Are you willing to pass up an opportunity to have your voice heard; have your comments and suggestions been listened to and considered? If no, we need your input now and be assured, you will be part of the solutions.

If you want your voice to be heard please fill out the survey on-line from our website www.cranbrookfriendly.ca, or if you would like to fill it out in the paper format you can contact us at 250-919-3244.

Thank you for your time.

Doug Newberry/Vice Chair/Cranbrook Age Friendly Advisory Committee

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