I attended the infrastructure meeting held by the new engagement officer at the swimming pool.
Four or five boards outlined the deficit problem with minimal detail. One board raised the spectre of a steep rise in taxes. No pertinent information was included that would allow taxpayers to make an intelligent assessment on where economies could be made to balance the infrastructure deficit.
The information provided on these boards in my opinion was more about conditioning taxpayers to expect steep tax increases than on finding solutions.
Apparently the reason for the sparse information was because they want to lead people into this slowly and raise an interest in the subject before they get specific. I think most taxpayers are too busy to waste time attending meetings just for the sake of attending meetings.
Why was it held in the swimming pool? Because city staff is interested in getting young people’s input. Apparently three young people stopped by while I was speaking to Ms. Kleb and a supporting staff member made it pretty plain that they must have left because we were blocking their view.
These young people likely won’t be here when they become taxpaying citizens because they will find it hard to find jobs that pay enough to support families in Penticton.
Summerland attended UBCM and came home with buckets of infrastructure money. They obviously have been working on this for a couple of years. How much infrastructure funding did our council bring home from UBCM? After all they have known about the state of our municipal infrastructure for many years, have they not?
According to the percentages Summerland got 50 per cent of infrastructure costs from the federal government and the province is paying 33 per cent; leaving a balance for Summerland of 17 per cent of $3.2 million. To be successful; seeking infrastructure grants should be a sustained activity so funds are gained in dribs and drabs. It is highly unlikely we could get 83 per cent of $175-million.
Summerland also got $100,000 in economic development funds to hire consultants for one year to work with the mayor’s task force on economic development.
How much did we get in economic development costs at UBCM?