Dear Editor:

Re: “Council needs to consider sun shelter for Square,” Merritt Herald Aug. 28.

We hope council doesn’t fall for gilding this white elephant, and they quit trying to justify its existence. Two viable and palatable options (for taxpayers) are:

1) Hold small venues later in the day – more could attend, even though that is not the intent of this limited area – or better still,

2) Rotary Park as was clearly pointed out in a Letter to the Editor, Merritt Herald Aug. 30. The latter totally makes sense to an overtaxed populace of 7,100, plus or minus. Roline said “It’s important for the City to consider the use of the facilities.” Exactly … consider Rotary Park.

Just because Merritt has a grant opportunity does not mean taxpayers can afford it. We always have to borrow money to complete them and that equals more taxes. Too many of these grants are in the wants but not the needs column.

For example, when services were pushed to the new subdivision on Lindley Creek Road, was it too much to consider a public restroom at the secure, fenced fair/rodeo grounds? Volunteers worked this past summer with a series of garage sales for just that service. Could mayor and council not have forgone more excessive wants for such a facility at the fair complex, which is a definite need?

How much do we taxpayers put up to rent outhouse facilities each and every day of the Fall Fair and Rodeo? Perhaps this would open that venue up for more paying functions too.

By excessive and lavish we mean the plantings at Dewolf Way – an ongoing cost.

Has anybody got a count of how many tourists just had to visit Merritt after lunching and gassing up their vehicles?

The city would also be well-advised to publically print the whole projected cost of any undertaking, including the interest on the loans. For example Spirit Square (a want) cost over $1 million, including grants. How much over? Figure the cost per square foot of that little corner of Merritt. Now, the fountain is a health hazard and an unglamorous warning sign had to be attached.

Quoting Mayor Roline: “We can’t just say we can’t afford a sun shade, so we can’t use Spirit Square anymore.”

Actually, yes we can. We can use it in the concept it was designed for – a quiet area of respite and relaxation. After all the art, copper fish for the fountain and another piece to be displayed near the gazebo are displayed, it will be just what it was designed for, no sun shade needed.

For all other venues, there’s Rotary Park, or perhaps with foresight, the fair grounds.

Mo and Bill Tomchuk,

Merritt, B.C.