Dear Mayor and Councillors:
Let me begin by saying that I am not in favour of the Multiplex project.
Now let me explain.
My main objection relates to financial responsibility. In 2010, my property tax increased by more than my pension increase – thus I was forced to dip into my savings just to meet this obligation, not to mention having nothing left for the increasing expenses of everyday living.
I do not want to face a tax increase to pay for this project. The only way I could support the Multiplex is if it is completely self-sustaining in financial terms - an unlikely scenario. I note council’s reticence to fund the skatepark to the amount of $100,000, yet there is a cavalier attitude about spending some $30 million for a facility that largely duplicates existing facilities.
Secondly, there is the question of necessity. We already have a swimming pool, a library and a daycare. Why do we need to duplicate these? Banff does not even provide a swimming pool, leaving this to the private sector. There is already a climbing gym in town as well as several private gyms. I don’t get a public subsidy for my membership at Lifeworks gym, why should I be expected to subsidize publicly-owned competing services?
If we are going to proceed with the Multiplex, and I hope that we do not, then let us construct it for recreational needs that are not currently addressed in this town. How about an indoor skate park, indoor BMX park, indoor mountain bike park and an indoor rodeo facility. Same money, but twice as many opportunities in our town.
In closing, I hope you folks will do due diligence and present the public with a fully costed model for this project. That needs to include all sources of funding and potential tax liabilities and needs to consider both the capital costs and the operational costs. Please provide the estimated user costs for daycare, library memberships and swimming pool entry fees that will generate the level of revenue required to make this project tax neutral.
I can’t help but feel that a small but very vocal group of people are pushing this project to satisfy their personal desires rather than considering actual needs and benefits to the entire community.
Douglas L. Eastcott,