The case to uproot the BMX park is weak
Letter to the Editor
The following letter has been sent to Mayor Pratt and City of Cranbrook council.
It appears to me the demands of Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA) to locate the indoor facility in Balment Park supersedes the kids who use the BMX track.
I am concerned city council is not making the correct decision. I feel that I am not alone wondering why this area that is well used by the BMX users must be torn up for KEYSA’s facility when we have already built soccer fields in Moir Park where it could be located without disrupting other sport interests.
Is council bending to KEYSA time pressures to make a decision for its location a priority when the BMX users and their supporters have not been fully included? Are you as council fast tracking to appease KEYSA? Are you fast tracking before the citizens of Cranbrook can discuss the location?
The BMX group was given an area of Balment Park to use and they have been self-sufficient: free and open to all users whether they are practicing for an event or enjoying their sport.
They did not ask taxpayers to foot their bills. There are diligent in their fund raising and have maintained thousands of hours of volunteer manpower. The group has procured donations and services by local businesses and citizens toward the success of their park. All of this has taken time to develop and now that Balment Park including the BMX trails has come to completion, the council is trying to evict them.
You are aware that the BMX park has been sanctioned by BMX BC, the National BMX Board, and BMX USA for competitions. I think council is condescending to think that this group suddenly has to prove that they belong there. Do these milestones not mean anything? Why do you doubt their persistence?
Those using the BMX park and the skateboard park are kids; they walk or ride their bikes generally on their own schedules and are self-motivated. They do not drive. I would like to know why council thinks these kids have to make their way to another location when they already have one, which was given to them by the city.
KEYSA was gifted the land at Moir Park yet declined the offer and want to take the BMX track location… is the skateboard park next? Further, why would KEYSA think Moir Park was too remote when most children are driven to the summer soccer fields already?
It was mentioned Balment Park is easy access for school events. Buses are presently moving students to other events such as track and field at the College of the Rockies so why could buses not take students to Moir Park, too.
Presently in the Moir Park area people are accessing physical activities at facilities such as a fitness gym, a climbing wall facility, and gymnastics in addition to the Moir Park soccer fields. The KEYSA’s facility should also be located in this area.
Where will other Cranbrook activities be relocated? Currently the park is being used by multiple events during Sam Steele Days. The open area should be left available as an ideal location for the Winter Blitzville event and other future events.
One other point council has overlooked is the removal of green space from Balment Park if this is the chosen due to KEYSA’s demands.
Let us talk cost. Do you actually believe that moving the BMX park should be a financial responsibility of the Cranbrook taxpayers. It appears you do. Let me back up. The dome started out as a practice facility during winter months and now it is being promoted as a multi-purpose year-round multi-million dollar facility to be gifted to the city. Who is going to pay for the maintenance schedule of this expanding idea? Is this suddenly a taxpayer responsibility when this was not the original idea? Will the taxpayers have a say whether they want their taxes increased to afford the facility?
I feel the kids using the BMX track should not have to move their location to accommodate KEYSA’s demands. KEYSA’s case for this location is weak at best.