As active members of Sylvan Lake Curling Club, we would like to voice our concerns over the fact that in April, the present curling rink will be condemned and due to several issues, there may not be a new facility constructed any time soon.
In the past, the curling club has contributed an enormous amount of assets to the Town of Sylvan Lake. To mention a few, the land for the new town office, the present site of Sylvan Lake Curling Rink, the swimming pool, and Lions Park, all in co-operation with The Knights of Pythias, the Lions and Rotary clubs.
We have a rink that is over 60 years old, and since our curling club has contributed such a large legacy to the Town of Sylvan Lake over the past 80 or so years, one would think there would be no question as to the legitimacy of immediately constructing a new rink in this town. In a comparison of the population to rinks across the province, it showed that a 6-8 sheet facility is required to accommodate our growing population.
Some of the other recreational facilities have been constructed in Sylvan Lake with the greater part of the costs being funded by the town. Why would this not hold true for our curling rink? As well, facilities such as the swimming pool, the library, and the multiplex require yearly funding from Town of Sylvan Lake taxpayers, conversely, the curling club is the only recreational facility that is predominately self-sustaining.
Even more, the yearly curling leagues and bonspiels held here have brought a huge amount of funds into this community which greatly helps to support our local businesses. One example is the 2014 Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties which is happening this week. However, an example of lost revenues is the recent cancellation of the men’s bonspiel, only hours before it was to begin, which was damaging to our reputation and fundraising. We should also mention that this building is open all year round to host other sporting events and various recreational activities, which also contribute a great deal of money to the local economy.
Some of the issues which have been brought to our attention and may be detrimental to the construction of our new facility are:
1. That the Town of Sylvan Lake is being very tardy with signing a Project Development Agreement with the curling club.
2. A mutually beneficial agreement on a longterm lease between the curling club and town, that is vital to the success of our fundraising, has not been reached; which also resulted in the loss of funding available for new facilities.
3. Since there was support for borrowing funds for new facilities at the councillors’ forum, why was borrowing money for replacement of the curling rink not considered?
Keeping these facts in mind, one would wonder why there is even an issue regarding the construction of a new curling rink.
The people of this area certainly need to voice their concerns over this matter, by perhaps contacting Sylvan Lake Mayor and Council, writing letters to the editor of local newspapers, contacting surrounding county councillors, etc.
Douglas & Sylvia Culshaw,