Annexation foolish and expensive

    Dear Editor:

    The citizens of The City of Chestermere were handed a very expensive Christmas / New Years present just a week before Christmas.

    Their mayor carried out Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi’s wishes by offering to annex 25,000 acres of Rocky View County.

    Land that by their own admission, they will never develop but just to appease the mayor and councillors pouting as a result of failing to plan Chestermere properly, according to generally accepted planning standards and principles.

    Mayor Matthews foolishly carried out Mayor Nenshi’s earlier threat to Rocky View County to carry out the “mother of all annexations”

    She did this without much thought to the immediate and long term costs and ramifications both in terms of money but the ongoing burden of maintaining an extra twenty five thousand acres and the accompanying infrastructure.

    In terms of immediate costs the City of Chestermere, in-house staff together with legal fees will amount to more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS ! That’s before they finally recieve Provincial approval.

    If their foolish annexation is successful, the City of Chestermere will be required to immediately pay The County of Rocky View between 75 and 125 million Dollars. Cash that the city will have to borrow.

    The rural roads will have to be maintained year round, including frequent grading of the gravel roads, expensive costs of the paved roads, lighting and the expensive list goes on and on.

    All on property that Chestermere residents will seldom use.
    The cost of staff, equipment, etc. will be in the millions each year.
    All without any long term plan for development!
    Costs that will never ever be covered by taxes!

    What will happen to future land values of Chestermere, knowing that this unneeded debt and long term infrastructure costs are hanging over the heads of property owners?

    What an exciting legacy to leave to future generations of Chestermere residents, debt in the millions just because some personal feelings were hurt.

    The existing residents of Rocky View in the affected areas will most likely launch a class action lawsuit against The City of Chestermere and it’s mayor and councillors that will results in millions more in legal costs, once again all because Chestermere’s mayor and council it appears cannot handle competition and have not planned Chestermere properly!

    The already extremely high taxes of the City of Chestermere, will once again be raised dramatically to cover these senseless,needless and thoughtless costs!

    The City of Chestermere has enough land to last more than forty years, how can the Mayor and council justify this foolishness to their constituents? Are they going to explain that they are jealous of Rocky View’s forward thinking planners and Council?

    How will they justify spending up to one hundred and twenty five million dollars on land that they will NEVER develop?

    If they eventually have a brainstorm to develop the annexed lands, where will they get the water and other infrastructure,i.e. Paved roads,interchanges , sewage and water pipelines to cross the Trans Canada highway?

    Their existing supply of water does have a limit! The existing water and sewage system will require millions of dollars to expand!

    As a resident and business owner within the proposed rural area I fully expect the City of Chestermere to reimburse me for the lost property value for my acreage and continue to maintain our road to the present standards established by the County.

    I am truly thankful that I do not live in Chestermere!

    Sincerely
    Sean J. Staddon