Georgian Bay Sports Fan

commentary & opinions on the sports and political scene

COUNCIL JUMPS GUN ON REC CENTER PLANNING


When will they learn?

Collingwood Council recently decided to go ahead with feasibility study and prepare a preliminary design for the proposed recreation centre at Central Park.  I completely agree we are in desperately need for such a facility in town.  The only problem is they’ve jumped the gun in doing so by not waiting for the steering committees report .

Councilor Chadwick correctly pointed

out at the Aug 29th meeting, that the committee’s role and recommendations on the project are what the feasibility study should be based on.  A steering committee represents the community needs and its recommendations would be used in properly preparing preliminary design and options.  The committee is supposed to put together  information from the public to figure out what is needed by the community and provide a concept…. and based upon that costing and drawings can be done.

Several committee members have said they need the costly study done so they can base their recommendations, which is completely ridiculous.  That’s like asking a builder to design a house and afterwards we’ll tell him how many bedrooms and bathrooms.  As far as public input goes, there has only been a few poorly attended meetings and a web survey with no posted results.  There has been no consultation with the major user groups on need vs cost, or any cost analysis on how the facility would operate.  In short, the committee has failed to do its job as well.

This is the same kind of political gaming and immaturity that caused the potential Fisher Field project to collapse a few years ago.  At that time town staff had secured a significant grant from the Ontario government for a project.  What started out as a project to meet the community needs for recreation, became an ego trip extravaganza for then council members.  The project costs ballooned out of si ghtas councilors completely lost sight of the original plans and wishes of the community and finally the grant money was forced to be returned.

You think the lesson would have been learned….only time will tell.

Backseat Driver


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