Thursday, 31 January 2008

Good things in Crowsnest Pass

Pictured is Pass Powderkeg our most visible community recreational facility. For decades this little hill has provided countless hours of recreational fun for children and adults and is only one of the affordable community facilities that make Crowsnest Pass a great place to raise a family.

Crowsnest Pass has two hockey arenas. The Sports complex in Coleman which also has a curling rink and the Albert Stella arena in Blairmore. The curling rink attached to that arena has been converted into a skate board park and climbing wall. With these two arenas we have no shortage of ice time in the Pass. A Calgary bantam team hosted a hockey tournament here last year with all teams coming from outside of the Pass. I was told that even with having to stay in hotels and eating out it was still cheaper for them to come here and play than if they could have gotten ice in Calgary. Which they couldn't.

Community centres are a very important element of any town. They are the places where people come together and celebrate the important events in their lives. They are the places people come together and mourn their losses. They are the places that define who we are as a community. Again Crowsnest Pass has two. Crowsnest Centre was the Pass's old hospital that was taken over by the town and converted into a unique community centre. The centre houses our food bank. It is a home for an adult educational and extended learning facility, the Chinook educational Consortium. It provides a very attractive and friendly banquet and meeting hall complete with food service provided by a caterer that any hotel would be proud to have working for them. With a number of hotel style rooms the Centre's operation gets much of it’s funding from conferences’, elder hostels, business and government seminars. These rooms and the centre have provided emergency shelter from storms, floods, fires and an extended power outage.

MDM was a school in the town of Bellevue that was taken over by the municipality about 5 years ago and turned into another community centre. MDM houses one of the Pass's Libraries. The other is housed in its own building in Blairmore. Provides office and meeting room space for community organizations and houses our Kids College preschool. MDM has a gym that provides recreation and with an adjoining kitchen also provides a large banquet and entertainment facility.

We do support a swimming pool as well that is operational throughout the summer. On everyone’s wish list is a new indoor pool to replace this one. Somewhere down the road new growth in Crowsnest will make that wish a reality.

Almost since its inception in 1979 Crowsnest Pass suffered with a stagnant economy. Previous councils struggled with the rising costs of providing services to the people of the Pass without the luxury of having a strong industrial or commercial tax base. To add to their problems they had no revenue resulting from new growth. It would have been easy for them to cut costs by shutting facilities or reducing the provision of recreational services. To their credit they did what was necessary to provide good quality community and recreational facilities. They have done a good job. We are now finally starting to see new growth. Why should we think about doing different?

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