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Editorial: Unfinished project often never completed

Trimming work to lower upfront costs not always the best plan
Municipalities often trim aspects of big projects to save immediate costs, but coming back to do the finishing touches often waits years. (File Photo)

YORKTON - There is always that give and take when looking at the cost of a project. We cannot always do everything we want simply because the budget won’t stretch that far. 

However, leaving a project with elements not completed is also rarely a good idea. 

There may be every intention of returning to finish things down the road as money allows, but too often the work gets forgotten as new projects are undertaken. 

That is particularly true when it comes to work undertaken by a municipality. 

As project costs rise, Councils often get a little more nervous about the investment needed to do the work. They have after all, many projects which could be moved forward if there were the dollars, and they do have to deal with voters too, who often become more vocal when project costs rise. 

So it’s a rather natural reaction to look at how project costs might be trimmed, and one option is to leave some of the finishing details to a later date. 

But, Councillors might have been well served if they had attended any of the various events held at the Gallagher Centre over weekend to see just what putting off a project means. 

Paving the Gallagher Centre parking lot has been talked about for years, likely dating back to the last major upgrade which included adding the flexihall and enhanced pool area. 

But, paving a parking lot is not required work, and can be carried out at any time. 

The question though, having been asked for years is when? 

While paving is not essential, you can park in a muddy lot, it’s far from ideal, especially when you hope when someone visits our city they go home with a positive image. 

But, is bouncing over a few water-filled potholes to park a car, and then walking across a muddy lot to the event you came to the city to enjoy creating that positive image? 

If the answer is likely not, then a lot of visitors went away with a less than glowing view of the city this week. 

There were players and family from all over Saskatchewan attending spring hockey camps for the local U18 Maulers and Junior Terriers, more than 150 athletes and their families, some from as far away as Winnipeg attending the Prairie Wildfire Taekwondo Challenge, youth and families from more than 20 4-H clubs at the Spring Steer & Heifer show, and some 100 drivers from across the region with the Eastern Professional Chariot & Chuckwagon Association at a measuring event. 

That is a lot of people visiting our community going home with muddy boots and pant hems as a memento of the visit, largely because the city has never quite gotten around to putting the final touch of pavement at the Gallagher Centre. 

It’s a glaring lesson that should be a reminder cutting finishing touches can often mean just never doing them.