BMX Track Cancelled!

Well, 200,000 bucks or not, it’s only money! LOL. It’s out there, if you know where to get it.

Also, people underestimate what people will volunteer as far as time, money, equipment, etc. Gotta get the right people involved.

I hope it’s never dead. Actually, I hope it alive and thriving in this province from the time it gets going, onwards!

“At the request of HRM, EPBMX directors met with HRM staff and Councillor Bill Karsten yesterday. They informed us the results of the recent recreation survey show there is not an interest for a BMX track Eastern Passage. In view of this information, the EPBMX directors have decided to no longer pursue the BMX racing track project. We will however try and work with Councillor Bill Karsten to see if an alternative BMX dirt park facility can be built. EPBMX would like to express our apologies for not being able to provide a facility for kids we thought the community would enjoy.”

The above is taken from the Eastern Passage BMX Club Facebook page. It would not be an understatement to think that I wasn’t a bit upset when I heard this. I really hope something can make a go somewhere in this province, and soon! It seemed a little fishy when I read it, but I plan on digging around a bit on this one. If I see a hockey rink or something go in it place on that spot, I’ll be miffed big time!

Folks, remember this stuff when the next elections come up!!!

I will probably add more when I calm down…

Damn…this is not good news at all. I’d love to hear the full story on this.

bummer dude, surveys can be very misleading. It would be interesting to see what questions were asked and what the demographics of the respondents was.

They managed to raise $35K surely that would buy a crappy building lot and some time with heavy equipment.

I don’t know if they were buying the lot or not, because if they DID buy it, the city would have no say in whether or not demand would be justified. If it took hours on equipment, I’d volunteer my time on a skid steer! I haven’t run bigger gear as a paid job, though.

Surveys can be very vague, and a lot of people don’t know what BMX racing is around here. If we’ve never had it here, of course almost nobody does it! Only those who travel to NB, or those who have moved here from places that do race.

I plan to get a copy of the survey, and an idea of where it was distributed, by whom, what department, how many filled, etc. Maybe the Freedom of Information act will help? We’ll see. Seems funny the new councillor had to break the news, not the enthusiastic one that was around for all the fundraising, etc.

If I see a hockey/curling rink or something go in that lot in the future, I will be a bit upset. I hope this is not the end of the track or a track somewhere in Nova Scotia.

Sending the following e-mail to councillor Bill Karsten. I will post the reply when I get it.

Hello Mr. Karsten.

It saddens me to learn that plans to go ahead with the BMX race track have been cancelled in Eastern Passage. It came very unexpectedly to me, and to be honest, left me reeling. In the announcement posted on the Eastern Passage BMX Club Facebook page, it indicates a survey, conducted by the HRM, was a factor in determining a lack of demand for such a facility. I have some questions and a request in regards to this survey.

When was is conducted? Where was it distributed? What is the target demographic? How many were sent out, and what percentage were responded to? Which department was in charge of this survey and/or the final decision? I would like to formally request a copy of that survey as well. It would be interesting to see how it was worded, portrayed, etc.

As a sport, BMX racing has little to no exposure in Nova Scotia, and as such, many people would have no idea what it entails, no desire to try it, and no clue as to the health, social, economical and community benefits of such a great sport. It will come with the construction of a facility, along with continued promotion and exposure.

I also find it interesting that funding was put in place, only to have the project cancelled at this point in time. Is this normal procedure inside the HRM?

I am writing this letter not only on behalf of myself, but on behalf of the entire cycling community in Nova Scotia. As such, we are looking forward to a timely and fully-inclusive reply to all the above questions and requests, and we greatly appreciate your very valuable time in this matter.

Thank you in advance,

Aaron Perrott

I have recieved a reply from Councillor Karsten, and I will repost it here as soon as he gives me the OK. Needless to say, it sheds a new light on things for me. Gonna keep my head up on this one! Still buying a BMX…

More soon, I hope!

With you as VP of BMX I’m confident the situation will eventually be turned around.

The following is most of the e-mail I received back from Councillor Karsten,

"Aaron, the survey that was conducted was actually facilitated to see what enhancements might possibly be made to the High School which is a provincial project. Please see attached.

Yes, the survey was mentioned at our meeting and it is a fact that a BMX track was not a priority of the community. However, what was stated to the BMX volunteers is that there is a process that needs to be followed to see this dream become a reality. HRM staff give the members a roadmap to move this project forward. It includes getting Bike Nova Scotia involved as a stakeholder and that the Province would need to partner as well. This is not like building a neighbourhood playground. There is a process that needs to be followed."

“Someone e-mailed me today and said the funding is even in place for this project. What is in place is $25K from the Councillor’s District Capital which I still have in a reservation for this project and some local fundraising. Do you know that although no official quotes have been obtained, that this could conceivably be a $200,000 plus project? I repeat a process needs to be followed as is the case anywhere in this municipality. I hope this helps to clarify some facts about this proposed project.”

It’s sad that as soon as government gets involved the cost goes through the roof. I mean, really? 200k for a BMX track??

Glad to hear it’s not dead though…