Thursday, December 02, 2021
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Community support sought for regional ice rink

by DR. ROBERT PIERCE/Contributing Writer
| November 11, 2021 1:00 AM

Support for the proposed Sandpoint ice arena project, to be located on Bonner County property within the boundary of the city of Sandpoint, is resounding.

Rather than placing a tax burden on members or our community, we believe that the utilization of private donations to create an indoor activity center is not only prudent, but an ideal model of private and public cooperation. The use of public land must be for the public good and the data for indoor recreation-type facilities, which focus on the after-school time period, are clear. Our long dark winters, which offer months of wet and snowy conditions, only compounds this issue. Not every child can afford to visit Schweitzer. Not every child has a parent at home after school.

The national group, “Fight Crime: Invest in Kids,” is composed of over 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors across our country, and declares “… investing in high-quality after-school programs is crucially important for putting kids on the right track for success in life.” This group states that these programs improve academic performance and decrease the likelihood of using drugs and alcohol, or of becoming involved in crime. In fact, they found, that each dollar spent on quality after-school programs can save at least three dollars in return.

Bonner County commissioners and the mayor of Sandpoint have been strong supporters of programs which improve the lives our citizens and enhance the success of our youth. They should be applauded for making a stand for our community. It is now the community's turn to support this project financially. We are looking for major donors and will soon begin searching for grants and other funding. Don't rely on Facebook posts for your information — please visit our website: sandpointice.org and help us make this a reality.

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Dr. Robert Pierce is president of the Sandpoint Community Center Corporation.