Much better than crickets

Town council’s annual call for public input into its budget process typically is greeted by the proverbial sound of crickets chirping.
That wasn’t the case this year, however, as about a half-dozen groups either wrote letters or stepped to the podium to make requests for council to mull in 2016.
The pleas were all reasonable ones. The Multi-Use Tennis Court Committee, for instance, asked that council’s previous pledge of $112,000 for the project be carried over to next year’s budget.
Given the jump in tourist inquiries, the local Chamber of Commerce wants the town to up its annual contribution for marketing from $7,500 to $9,500. The Fun in the Sun committee, facing increased costs, is looking for a $2,500 hike in funding for the Canada Day fireworks.
The local Police Services Board, meanwhile, wants $10,000 for electronic speed signs to help deter lead-footed drivers and “Paws Around Town” is asking council that money for an off-leash dog park here remains in the budget this time around.
Then there was a group of Memorial Sports Centre gym members, with a 350-name petition in hand, calling for upgrades to the equipment there for health and safety reasons—a situation clearly long overdue to be rectified and, quite frankly, downright embarrassing.
Whether all, some, or none of these requests are included in the town’s 2016 budget remains to be seen. What’s great to see, though, is local residents being proactive in their requests and suggestions rather than just grumbling amongst themselves.
It’s definitely a refreshing change from chirping crickets.