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Posted: July 19, 2020

Does Cranbrook really need a dome?

Letter to the Editor

Yes, I was surprised to hear that the BMX track had been relocated at the expense of the taxpayers and council has given final approval for the building of the dome when we are fighting with COVID-19.

Domes have a horrendous history. Council was made aware of this.

West Kelowna budgeted over $1 million for a dome.  It ended up costing over $4 million to build.  Domes in Calgary, Red Deer and several other cities collapsed and were unrepairable. This past winter a dome in Alaska collapsed. A similar project in Vernon had to be taken over by taxpayers.

The dome at Balment Park will be an eyesore. It takes up parking used by the Western Financial Place and Curling Club.  Sam Steele Society and Canada celebrations will no longer be able to use the area.  In my opinion, a permanent facility should be built adjacent to a high school with an indoor track that could be used 12 months a year.

Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA) plans to operate the dome on a volunteer basis.  The city has no guarantee.  KEYSA, some members who do not live in the city, will walk away like in Vernon.  The city taxpayers will be holding the bag.

Ask yourself, “does Cranbrook really need a dome?”

This dome is not a gift to the city but likely a future liability to taxpayers.

If taken over by the city, yearly costs are estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.  The dome must be rented out eight to 12 hours every date to break even.  IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.

With COVID-19, business owners will be lucky to survive. Businesses and homeowners should not be burdened with tax increases at this time.

It’s unconscionable and asinine, for the council to consider taking on unknown costs especially at this time.

Council should hold a town hall meeting and a referendum. Council what were or what are you thinking?

Mario Scodellaro,

Cranbrook


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