LETTER: in support of the new learning centre in Ponoka

A Ponoka News reader praises council for foresight in new learning centre

Dear Editor,

I am addressing this letter in support of the foresight and leadership being shown by some on town council in addressing infrastructure deficits created by many years of councils who insisted on standing pat in the name of low taxes.

The lack of investment in the community in the past has resulted in our town hall being condemned and demolished. The north bridge was identified by several previous councils as needing to be replaced. Deferring this resulted in it being constructed at a cost of more than double the price of what it would have been if it was dealt with in the early 2000s.

The proposed field house has more than doubled in price since originally being proposed in 2007 when the idea was shelved, and yet it is still identified as high priority on every needs assessment done over the past 12 years. Our town has shown nearly the lowest growth per capita in the corridor since the mid 1980s. Our kids are leaving our community to attend post-secondary elsewhere and many do not return.

For 30 years the old hospital site has sat empty.

It is an eyesore that should have been dealt with years ago. This is an opportunity to improve an area and create some energy for our community. To those who have argued publicly that the new construction will lower the property values in the area I would say that a derelict building continuing to stand next door is certainly doing nothing to improve them.

With all of this in mind it is time for what I feel is the silent majority to stand up to the vocal minority who consistently speak out against change and economic development.

This community has a choice to make. I say it is time to progress and see where that avenue takes us; every road leads somewhere.

We are all well aware of what standing pat has accomplished as we drive by a vacant lot where our town hall once stood every time we enter downtown. Activity and growth may foster economic development and provide the next generation a reason to bloom where they were planted! There are costs associated with development, but as we have seen there are also significant costs associated with deferring or doing nothing.

Peter Hall