Price tag for bike park may be enormous
| Posted: Saturday, Mar 23, 2013 06:00 am
I attended the Mountain Bike Skills (MBS) Town Hall meeting that was held at Lacombe Clubhouse.
The presenters in opposition to the proposition to incorporate MBS within Liberton Park vastly outnumbered the presenters in favour. The former came with well-prepared arguments while the latter did not. Because the youth who originated MBS did not present, it is clear that MBS is now a city project.
In the question period that followed the presentations, Mayor Crouse was asked about the 2009 budget provision of $200,000 to cover the construction costs of MBS. He replied that they were intact and not spent.
A question that should have been asked but was not was about costs from 2009 to the present. The start-up costs are incurred costs by any member of city council and/or city employee who has spent time and money on MBS. These costs were expensed and allocated to deep accounting canyons with descriptive titles such as “salaries, wages and benefits,” “contracted and general services” and “materials, goods and supplies,” never to see the light of day again.
The reason for not tracking such costs is that the city is in the business of providing exceptional service; no need to match revenues and expenses nor to do any cost benefit analysis. Uncontrolled costs give rise to higher taxes. Gross city revenues between 2002 and including 2011 that rose from $67.3 million to $168.4 million or 250 per cent is proof that it is so.
I believe that MBS is inappropriate within Liberton Park because of its potentially negative environmental impact. The city should abandon MBS because of the potentially enormous cost and the difficulty in measuring any benefit that may accrue from it.
William Tuchak, St. Albert