Regarding the June 3, 2014 TSBP Council Agenda – Craig Gammie 4-17

8.8 CLK46-2014 Airport Board Request for Funding to Prepare Business Plan

The joint airport board wants money to pay Cliff Bilyea to prepare a business plan for the airport.

One assumption that is being used in the project is that runway repairs are necessary to carry on business at the airport. This is a false assumption.   The airport can legally carry on just as it did for many years, even if the runway is not repaired.

If council gives the board money for a business plan, council should insist that the false runway repair requirement assumption is dropped.

10.3 By-Law 50-2014 A By-Law to Amend By-Law 55-2011 Being a By-Law to Impose a Fee for Improvements to the Amabel-Sauble Water Systems to the Owner or Occupants of Land who Derive or Will or May Derive a Benefit from the Upgrades to the Water Systems

Sounds complex, but it is merely a proposal to add one property to the system and to delete one property.   Residents on the systems should know why the one property is being deleted. Many residents would like to be deleted, and would like to know how to get deleted.

11.1 FS15-2014 BCF 24580 Amended Agreement: Wiarton Sewage Treatment Plant Expansion

The proposal is to amend an agreement so that money originally granted for a small Sauble Sewers system, which was cancelled, can be used to expand the Wiarton sewage treatment plant.

I have no concerns about amending the agreement.

I do have concerns about the expansion project.

The claimed benefit to the town is stated as: “the entire Municipality will benefit from an increased assessment base as the backlog of projects within wiarton can be released and approved, and future development can be accommodated” and, “additional assessment resulting from increased development would benefit the entire Municipality”.

This claim does not stand up to scrutiny. Taxpayers will not benefit because along with the increased tax base there will be a commensurate increase in service costs and thus a bigger budget, and thus about the same level of taxes for existing taxpayers. So there is no tax benefit to the residents of the municipality. The claim of a tax benefit is dubious at best.

Another concern is that the report fails to mention is that the money required beyond the grant will come from a loan, and if the money to pay off the loan cannot be collected from developers for any reason, then taxpayers will be on the hook, including taxpayers who will never use the existing or expanded system.

Council should explore every possible option to ensure that the taxpayers are not left paying for the sewage treatment plant expansion.

Craig

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