Cuts could lead to teen trouble
We are disappointed to see that administration at the Town of Irricana has decided to cut services for children in an effort to balance the books. (See full story on page 18).
Although cuts needed to be made to keep residential and business taxes down, we are concerned that closing down the splash park this summer and choosing not to flood the ice rink this winter are poor decisions.
Isolated towns like Irricana tend to have few activities for youth to participate in.
Cutting the few services the town has for youth is not in the community’s best interest.
As the old saying goes “Idle hands are the Devil’s plaything.”
When teens in small towns have nothing to occupy their time, they often fill their days with mischief.
We are not sure that a savings of $5,000 to shut down the splash park is worth the cost of some bored teens filling their times with vandalism and other petty crimes.
Irricana has already had problems with vandals. In November, the town’s statue, Old Smokey, was knocked down and damaged. And we have had a number of complaints about youth racing their vehicles in the town.
These problems are not going to get better when some of the only activities youth can take part in are shut down.
Some of our newsroom’s fondest memories are getting soaked in splash parks and bundling up to play hockey in the winter.
These activities teach children how to share, make friends, be good team players and respect other people’s property.
Without a mall, movie theatre or an arena, youth will be forced to roam the streets and hang out in local parks.
In our minds, this is a recipe for disaster and may cause the municipality to spend the funds they saved with these cuts on an increased police presence.