The city is tightening their belt? Fooled me.

If you look at this week’s council meeting (Item #1 – Consent) and the business bid notices you would think the city is awash in money for play things.

As you may or may not know, the penny entertainment tax came about to help pay the bonds on the Pavilion and Convention Center. Once the bonds were paid off the city has decided to keep collecting the cash cow and they haven’t been shy about throwing millions at the Pavilion over the last couple of years. But what is even more puzzling is the $300K in lighting upgrades to a $117 million dollar building that is practically new. I have a feeling more and more there was a lot of ‘unfinished’ work to the EC to keep it under the price tag amount, including a half-ass siding job.

Remember when the city council recently approved a new snowcat groomer for Great Bear because they ‘might’ have to change a couple of hydraulics on the old one? Now they want new snowmakers. One portable snowmaker runs between $2,500-$12,000 each.

Funny how the mayor says he is tightening the city’s belt, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at these expenditures.


#1 Blasphemo on 07.16.17 at 2:09 pm

Snow boarding / skiing requires a very specific skill set and fairly unique personal sports equipment/accessories. It’s an enjoyable activity, one I enjoyed as a younger person prior to injuries and orthopedic surgeries. That being said, these expenditures of general taxpayer monies for expensive, seasonal activity-specific limited life complex equipment (snow cats / snow making machines) seem ludicrous. Not every taxpayer participates in this winter-only (and suitably cold weather dependent) sport. Let the subset of the public who wish to participate in this sport bear the cost of facilitating it. Make the cost of venue admission accurately reflect the cost of participation. Public subsidy of this type of recreation is absurd.

#2 l3wis on 07.16.17 at 3:04 pm

I don’t have an issue with subsidizing Great Bear, to a degree. It is part of our parks system and since I am able to enjoy the subsidies (the bike trail) winter sports enthusiasts should to. My issue is with spending priorities. A farmer doesn’t replace his whole combine when a belt or hydraulic goes out, he fixes the problem. The Public Works garage could easily drop a couple grand and inventory hydraulic parts for the old snowcat when something breaks, but geez, that would make fiscal sense. The Parks Department has been on such a high carb diet for so long that they can’t quit eating.

#3 anonymous on 07.16.17 at 5:27 pm

The $300,000 request for the EC is not the first additional money invested in the NEW $117m facility.

Let’s not forget the 1m from the (siding settlement) that was put back into the EC.

This taxpayer-owned facility opened its doors less than three years ago.

Seems like a lot of tax dollars being directed at a building which in 2017 will be open less than 10 months out of this year.

The EC is completely shut down this summer for approx 10 weeks….why is that

#4 Blasphemo on 07.17.17 at 12:59 pm

L3wis, you are being very fair minded. However, I would contend that the bike path can be used by far more people using much more common skill sets (walking, running, bike riding) for a much longer season than can a ski slope.

#5 Emoluments Clause on 07.17.17 at 3:35 pm

Given global warming and the vulnerabilities such a reality lends to recreational skiing, perhaps it is time we thought of a Dubai style type of indoor skiing facility? So as to address the “much longer season” concern. And we could call it the Indoor Ski Center, too. We could even build it just south of the Aquatic Center on the slope….. Because it appears so far, that quit claim deeds with the Feds are not problematic….. 🙂

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