Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cranbrook's Road Economy, True or False?

Letter to the Editor

When a city elects a mayor and council, it’s expected that they will make wise decisions with the money they raise through taxpayers. Those who live in Cranbrook expect their tax money to be spent wisely and not raise taxes for unnecessary reasons. 
Borrowing $10 million for roads and infrastructure and raising our taxes to pay for it is both unwise and unnecessary.  The debt servicing for this borrowing will be over 20 years, meaning householders will all pay an additional $31 per $100,000 assessed value per year, and businesses will pay $56 extra per year.  If your home is assessed at $250,000 you will pay an extra $54 each year for 20 years.  There will likely be additional tax increases over that period as well. People living on fixed or low incomes cannot afford this annual increase.
Do we need to borrow $10 million now? Interest rates are low. It could be a great time to borrow the money. However, does fixing the same amount of roads in 2 years instead of 5 years justify the loan? The city has allocated $4.1 million a year in their budget for roads and infrastructure. If Cranbrook is patient the same roads will be fixed in 5 years instead of 2. Stretching the work over five years would allow the City to be able to contract with local businesses rather than those from out of town.
Perhaps in the next year or two the City might avail itself of infrastructure grants through the federal or provincial governments as has happened in the past.
The mayor and council of Cranbrook have honoured their promise to “fix the roads” in Cranbrook as they continue to allocate funds each year. With the decision to borrow 10 million however, they are not honouring their promise to keep taxes low and bring in more business to our community.

For more information on how to make a difference call me:  Wendell Dalke at 250-489-3909

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