10:30 a.m., Sept. 20)
Eye-opening report puts hefty price tag on fixing city's
staff report on the state of the city's aging infrastructure
has painted a bleak picture of just how far behind the
city has fallen in maintaining our roads, bridges and
to the report, the city needs to spend $165 million a
year each year for the next 10 years to properly maintain
the more than $32 billion in infrastructure assets it
has. That's more than double what the city currently spends
and does not include non-rate supported assets such as
water, waste water and transit assets.
staff investigation revealed that 16 per cent of all assets
are in poor or very poor condition, 37 per cent are in
fair condition and 47 per cent are in good or very good
city's medium and small culverts are in the poorest condition,
followed by the city's sports fields, utility recreation
buildings and collector roads.
long as the city continues to ignore the ongoing infrastructure
deficit, the bill will continue to grow with each passing
year. To put the $85 million shortfall in perspective,
the city would have to raise taxes 8.5 per cent to generate
the revenue necessary to close the gap. The problem is
that city council has made a committment to cap future
tax increases at 2.5 per cent.
City has also taken on more than $1.4 billion in debt,
which will further balloon with the construction of light
where the money will come from to fix the city's aging
infrastructure is unknown.
council implemented a two per cent infrastructure surcharge
in 2008 which would have raised over $20 million a year,
but it was eliminated two years later under the guise
of the Infrastructure Stimulus program.
the time several councillors argued that the program made
the surcharge redundant and therefore it was no longer
City received $240 million from the provincial and federal
governments under the Intrastructure Stimulus program,
but a good chunk of the money went to build new infrastructure
rather than fix exisiting assests. As a result the infrastructure
deficit continues to grow and the city's roads, sidewalks
and culverts continue to deteriorate.
finance and economic develop.m.ent committee will meet again
on Oct. 2 to hear the treasurys plan to pay for
the huge maintenance bill.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
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