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Mayor’s Report – January 21, 2015

Meet the Mayor

January 21, 2015


Recreation is a big item in the lives of most people. It doesn’t seem to matter which type. Some people opt for the laid-back-feet-on-the-coffee-table-with-eyes-closed-and-the-remote-falling-to-the-floor variety (and they probably need it badly). Others are more into the do-it-myself-and-stay-out-of-my-way kind – the recreation that is noisy and gas-burning. Some, of course indulge in other options provided by the great and magnificent outdoors – the skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing, or fishing. In fact, there are fishers so determined that they’ll spend days in bitter cold looking down through a little hole in the ice to watch their quarry take the hook. There are a few who find their greatest enjoyment in deciphering code on a page of paper. All of it is richly available right here in our town and our countryside, too. To each her own.

But for those who prefer to be indoors out of the winter bite and still physically active, your friendly District of Chetwynd, in close cooperation with the Peace River Regional District, is home to a Recreation Centre that is the envy of mayors and councillors and residents of much larger communities. Indeed, we are blessed in 2015 by the foresight of those who went before us.

If you are not one of those who take advantage of our outstanding recreational facility, or even glance towards it when you drive by, try a glance. Early morning or evening darkness will give you a sharp view of determined athletes pushing their bodies to greater endurance on the treadmills. Not visible from the comfort of your vehicle will be other equally determined bodies stressing their muscles and minds in other types of recreation – curling, hockey, squash, swimming, wall-climbing.

All these people can’t be wrong. There’s got to be a positive outcome to all this exertion. Perhaps you’d like to know how many do people take advantage of the facility you’re taxed to maintain. Is it worth your money? Even if you don’t use it personally?

Even if you don’t use the Rec Centre personally, the fact that so many others use it regularly, vigorously, and some few fanatically, makes it a positive benefit to you. And now you’re puzzled. How can somebody else’s pumping iron make you any more like Mr. America? It can’t. But when the Centre has a high usage, the general health and vitality of our home town is increased. Believe me.

So just how much sweat is squeezed out over the months of a year? You might be surprised at the numbers; I was: in 2014 swimming drew 26,797 uses; the water slide 26,224 uses; swim lessons 4,864 uses; the gym 30,624 uses; and after-hours gym 3,375 uses. This means that if one of your kids plunged down the slide fifty times, that would represent fifty uses.

And that’s not all. In 2014 eight hockey tournaments, one figure skating carnival, and one hockey camp were held.

So I’ve made my point. Our Rec Centre is an invaluable asset to all of us.


Merlin Nichols, Mayor