Posted April 28, 2012
With regards to the Editorial article “Skating around budgeting process” the simple economics of using the Skate Park in the East End of the City deserve serious consideration by City Council and Staff.
The City has rented the skate park for the last two summers – July and August in 2010, but due to staff fumbling it was only available in August in 2011. Thanks to more staff fumbling this year, it did not even make the list of possibilities.
Now why is the use of this facility a good deal for the City?
In the first place the facility is SUPERVISED! Skaters must have the proper equipment including safety equipment and helmets. Secondly, the Supervision ensures that horseplay is not allowed. As well the facility carries sufficient Liability Insurance thus relieving the City of any potential liabilities arising from negligence on their part. (Take a lesson from the Clair Road washroom incident!) The final plus is that instead of frittering away one million dollars on an unsupervised City facility fraught with Liability issues, the City gets a COMPLETE service for $10,000. (The saving in capital cost avoidance covers 100 years of facility rental.)
Other benefits to the City include problem avoidance – problems that resulted in the City closing the City operated skate park – problems that included excessive noise, late night rowdyism, garbage, illegal activities, and a complete lack of supervision. Does City Council want to repeat this experience and annoy another neighborhood?
There are times when the private sector provides a better service at a more reasonable cost to the taxpayer. This is one of those times. If the City can find $25,000 for Terry Bradshaw, then if should be able to find the $10,000 for this service. The youth of the City want this service, and the City needs to provide it for them.
City Councillors, when it comes the skate parks please do not be “penny wise and pound foolish”.