In the Castlegar News April 12 edition, I was quoted as voting “no” against a motion to support a yes vote for the Complex Referendum.
There was nothing in the paper stating why I voted against it and I would just like to clarify. As per my platform in 2014, I ran on transparency, infrastructure upgrades and assessments. Back in 2009-10, there was a water infrastructure assessment done by Urban Systems and in that document, it stated that we require $60-plus million in infrastructure upgrades just for the water system. It’s my understanding that the city has spent $10 million (roughly) since that document.
So for just the water system alone, in the next 20 years, if there are $50 million in upgrades still required, that’s $2.5 million a year for the next 20 years. I know that there has been an Asset Management assessment done by a draft for sewer, storm sewer and roads that are supposed to be coming out in the next two to three months, and we’re supposed to have the new assessment for water coming out on April 23.
My understanding is that the asset management plan doesn’t include the airport, sidewalks, parks, city-owned buildings, or increased regular maintenance costs. I just want to be clear that without these numbers, I feel the public is not being totally informed about what’s coming in the next 20 yrs or how we’re going to pay for the asset management issues that are coming forward. And while the Rec Commission is subsidized by three areas, the infrastructure assets are only being paid by taxpayers in Castlegar, and are not subsidized by Areas I & J.
I would love to have an upgraded complex, and people know that I have a large hockey background and am an avid sports enthusiast, but my position as a councillor is to make the public aware that there are millions, possibly hundreds of millions, of dollars of asset infrastructure work to be paid for in the next 20 years. Can the taxpayers of Castlegar afford all of this at one time? If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at 250-365-7310.