I do not apologize for anything I said during the public hearing last Monday evening on the demolition of the City Kinsmen swimming pool, rezoning Centennial Park land and building a large apartment complex on the site of the old swimming pool and tennis courts.
But I would like to clarify one point that was reported by one media outlet (not the News-Optimist) in the Battlefords. I did not say the City was forcing residents to use the CUPlex. I said, "The City does not want the old Kinsmen Aquatic Centre to exist," which must be true if the mayor and city councillors voted unanimously to destroy the pool.
I further said that the City wants seniors to use the CUPlex. The city manager said as much. The City wants to generate as much income from the use of the CUPlex as it can. Everyone knows that.
Finally, I said that seniors don't want to go over there; they would like a place of their own. I didn't pull that out of thin air. Almost all of the seniors I talked to before the public hearing expressed that sentiment, and 100 per cent of the seniors who telephoned me after the public hearing said the same thing.
Even so, I'm sure there will be seniors who will want to use the curling rink and other facilities. But none of this takes away from the fact that seniors would like their own place – a state of the art activity centre with everything. The ideal place for this activity centre is the 6000-foot-square (main floor) old Kinsmen swimming pool. Unlike a 100-unit apartment complex, a seniors’ centre is a right fit for Centennial Park.
Richard W. Hiebert, Ph.D.
President, Battlefords Heritage Society