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The relative costs of maintaining the Common skating oval 

Millions for middle class parents, not a penny for anyone else

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Watching the public debate about whether the speed skating oval should be made permanent, I'm struck by how the costs of the continued operation of The Oval are blown all out of any reasonable proportion. Let me elaborate.

First, let's acknowledge that making The Oval permanent will entail one-time capital costs. It's my desire that these costs be kept to a minimum: whatever's required in terms of a base and making the area useful in the summer---I see it as an inline skating oval in the summer months. I very much discourage much else: we don't need permanent buildings on site, additional washrooms, etc. A big part of the joy of The Oval is it's not some gigantic operation; let's keep it that way.

City staff will soon detail the capital costs in a report to council, but I'm hearing they'll be in the ballpark of a million dollars, with the number increasing significantly as we add buildings and so forth. But let's leave that conversation for a later day. For now, I want to concentrate on the operating costs.

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