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Editorial: Money to reserves is prudent planning

Projects rarely saved for by government
Deer Park Clubhouse
City Councils have long been aware the Deer Park Clubhouse was aging and needed replacement, but no money to pay for it was set aside. (File Photo)

YORKTON - It is interesting to watch public reaction to government spending. 

There are three typical responses one hears on coffee row, or see on social media. 

The first reaction is generally an aversion to any tax increase. No one likes to think more of their income is going to pay the tax bill, although this first reaction is also tempered for many realizing costs go up even for government. 

The second group tends to see the shortcomings in government spending as it pertains to their particular area. Educators want more for schooling. Health care professionals are concerned about health initiatives. Farmers look to what is being spent, or not spent as the case might be, in terms of agriculture. 

And sort of related to the above, a third group always sees where they would have spent money where government did not. 

We certainly saw the mix of reactions in terms of last week’s provincial budget. In a matter of a few hours of its presentation this newspaper’s email had received multiple releases from groups either applauding spending in their sector, or lamenting that more was not targeted to their area. 

It’s the same locally. 

Talk to Councillors and you are likely to learn they have had concerns raised by some residents about their decision to move forward with a multi-million-dollar Deer Park Golf Course clubhouse build. 

If you are a non golfer, and frankly that is the vast majority of residents, a clubhouse really isn’t a facility you have paid much attention to. Most will never have set foot in the existing building. For those, the building can be summed up as old, and it shows that age in a number of ways. 

As the owner of the facility it was very much a case of upgrading the clubhouse, because it was near the end of its useful life. 

But, that doesn’t lessen public concerns. 

For example, some suggest that the clubhouse dollars would be a significant portion of what the city will need to come up with when the province finally moves forward with a new hospital. 

Certainly a hospital will be a big ticket item the City must invest in – the province now expects the local municipality to put up significant dollars, which in this case is Yorkton even though it’s a regional hospital serving a much larger population than those living in the city. 

Of course the real issue in many of these cases is a lack of preparedness by government. 

The ability to put away money ahead of time for expenditures you know will come is generally a wise thing – like a homeowner putting some money aside knowing one day a major appliance will fail, or the house will need painted. 

In the case of the city, Councils pre-dating the current edition, knew the clubhouse was antiquated, that the municipality would have to spend millions on a new hospital, that the days for the Kinsmen Arena were limited without a major investment, yet no real effort to establish and fund reserve accounts was ever made. 

There is an old adage about paying now, or paying later. We just happen to be paying later on all three accounts at this point. 



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