- Bill ThompsonMayor, Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls
Save Sioux Narrows Provincial Park
Closing this provincial park reflects poor economics, poor planning, and poor public policy!
- Mayor, Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls
I am writing to you today to express my concern regarding the potential closure of Sioux Narrows Provincial Park (SNPP).
I understand that the municipal council wishes to close the park due to what they perceive as a “taxpayer burden.” While the municipal council is legitimately concerned about subsidizing the park at a loss, I believe a more mature cost-benefit analysis would reveal that the municipality receives many indirect financial benefits due to the influx of tourists during the summer months.
Moreover, since the park is not deeply insolvent, a restructuring effort and renewed business plan would successfully alleviate the park’s very manageable $50,000.00 debt. It is quite likely that the sparsely frequented Sportfishing Centre in the town of Sioux Narrows -- at a total cost of $726,000.00 to the community -- will likely prove to be a bigger drain on tax revenue.
If the Municipal Council is unwilling to operate the park, I suggest transferring its maintenance to an organization that can. Creating a Community Land Trust (CLT) to manage the park would relieve the municipality of its burden and create a sustainable, non-profit alternative. Community land trusts have been in existence for centuries, and have been experiencing a renaissance over the last fifty years due to the need for new tools to restore, operate, and develop public assets such as parks -- on a financially sustainable basis.
Closing the park is poor economics, poor planning, and poor public policy -- not only for the Sioux Narrows community, but also for the region. The costs associated with the closure of a local tourist attraction would have a detrimental effect on the community in terms of absolute numbers, but it will also close a priceless public asset whose doors are open to the world.
Please abandon your unwise plan to close the park and consider transferring the operation of Sioux Narrows Provincial Park to a Community Land Trust.
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