Get grants for roads and sewers first

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by admin on June 10, 2009

The Editor,

I totally support Denise Workun’s view (Valley Voice, May 20) and I will also be voting “No thank you” to the borrowing bylaw of $9.8 million to build a sportsplex in Chelsea. It would be nice to have a new community centre or gathering place or renovations to be made to the existing one; nevertheless, Chelsea cannot afford a sportsplex to the tune of $9.8 million.

My suggestion to Chelsea council: submit new grant applications to pay for other urgently needed infrastructures that concern health and security issues. The Chelsea budget is already in the red to the tune of more than $12 million; to top it all, new borrowing bylaws will be needed to pay (1) for the repairs to the Mill Rd sewage treatment plant (at the moment, no one knows how much will be needed, however, it won’t be less than $1 million); (2) for an additional $2 million for the Farm Point sewage treatment plant; (3) at least another $5 million for the Old Chelsea sewage treatment plant (and every household will be taxed for 25 per cent of these millions over and above the costs for connecting to the municipal sewers for those residents living within those zones); (4) for additional funds on an ongoing and annual basis to repair and pave our road network; (5) for additional funding for trucking our recycling material elsewhere when the Cascade facility closes; (6) for additional funding for trucking our garbage somewhere;  (7) for the downloading by the provincial government of additional responsibilities i.e. schools, immigration, school buses etc.; (8) for environmental protection.

Has anyone at the Chelsea Foundation thought about the repayment of this debt load when interest rates start going up? Only last week, the Governor of the Bank of Canada made a cautionary statement about the possibility of rising interest rates. And, let us not forget the ever-increasing tax load coming from the MRC (policing, forest management, etc.)  We’re looking at a minimum $20 million debt in 2009-2010.

During all those consultations, the Chelsea Foundation was adamant that it wanted to be all inclusive (accommodate everyone: rich and poor, young and old). If this $9.8 million borrowing bylaw goes through, only people with very deep pockets will be able to afford the Chelsea lifestyle, so how does this translate into “being all inclusive”?

Support the No Committee and vote No to the borrowing bylaw on June 14.

Helen Foster

Chelsea