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  • Tax increase or tighten up on spending

    I think our Town needs to tighten up on its spending. In today’s economy, as the private sector tightens its budgets and reduces its staff, our Town asks us to pay more. Many of us have been through lay offs, and our salary increases have been few and far between for many years.

    Perhaps the Town could absorb the funds coordinator responsibilities into the communication and legislative coordinator position? Perhaps our current Peace Officers could be actively enforcing bylaws? Our previous Economic Development officer had little success at increasing our commercial tax base. Perhaps our full time mayor can absorb that responsibility? Throwing another executive salary at economic development will not necessarily guarantee success.

    We hire consultants to do project plans every time we have a task. These cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars. This would be money well spent if the concepts presented where implemented, but most just produce an idea / paper exercise that goes no where.

    The branding exercise was a very expensive undertaking. The theme/vision got lost very quickly. Much to my surprise the newest land development is named ‘McIvor Lands’. This is not a lake themed name!

    From the Towns website I think our 3 major parks are for rent for public events to residents and non-residents of Chestermere. We have to pay for the park redevelopment but you also have to share it with whomever the Town has rented it to for private functions. This only impacts those that do not live on the lake.

    The proposed cost of redoing Anniversary Park is $3,000,000. Be assured that like John Peake, this too will run way over budget. This is to implement a beach and landscaping which is not easy given the composition of the land.

    I too might like a beach for the few days of summer we get. But I do not want a beach in the busiest intersection of Town. I would want a pedestrian over or under pass first! Even if I have a pedestrian over/under pass to get to washrooms and the concessions; where will I park? At the recreation centre that does not belong to the Town?

    Yes, they are changing the shoreline – and importing sand. But how will they control the pigeons, ducks and geese? How do we protect our kids from bird feces illnesses?
    There are inadequacies in the Parks Committee membership that has done the planning for this park. Let’s hope all the monies spent to date will have been a good investment.

    So yes, let’s pay for Anniversary Park. And then pay more for the overruns. Then pay more and more for the ongoing maintenance that beach will require. Will you be able to use it? Is it currently one of the parks the Town rents out? And how many users will this Park accommodate?

    We are not being taxed equally. There is or was an attempt to correct this, but there has not been any further update. If you look at taxes of some of the homes on the lake, or on the golf course, and then compare those to communities built more recently – there is a discrepancy as to home value and taxes applied. The older communities are paying a much lower tax base. Perhaps there is an opportunity here to equalize the taxes and get some of the monies the Town is looking for?

    It is in poor taste for the Town to compare their increase in taxes to other Towns around us and flaunt how little their increase is. All those other Towns offer so many more amenities and services; and our Town is no where near equal.

    Michael

    2 Comments

    1. Terri

      January 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Well said, so frustrating when we compare all of the money they want to spend in our “Community” but we are still driving to Calgary for the amenities and services for our children. We lived in Chestermere 5 years, commuted to take the kids to the wave pool, paid to boat in the lake we lived on, thank goodness a library came as it also kept my sanity.

    2. Taxpayer

      January 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

      Maybe we should address the problem with the weeds in the lake before we build a beach that no one will enjoy using because of weeds in the lake. 3 million would go a long way towards a lake dredge, it is very close to the quote from one company to dredge the lake. Would it not make sense to take care of our biggest asset in the town before we build a park that no one will use. Building a cenotaph on rare lakefront property would seem a real waste of a very limited asset.