Generous to a Fault

Ron Bolin: June 17, 2011

The words of Matthew (25:29) rang true on Monday night as Nanaimo City Council undertook the entire cost of installing a City sewer installation in the Green Lake area.  This will cost taxpayers about $31, 700 for each of 101 lots for a total of about $3.2 million. There was reputedly a promise to bring sewers to this and other areas some 36 years ago upon amalgamation with the city.  Clear evidence of the nature of this promise and the split of expenses has not been made public.  In 1995 city policy set the ratio of city to property owners in such cases to 60% city and 40% owner.  Green Lake residents apparently refused this split.  Monday’s generous proposal was for an 80/20 split.  In a cavalier motion, Councillor Bestwick took it upon himself to propose that general ratepayers pick up the entire tab -the difference being only a measly $640,000- and Council followed.

We can rest assured that the other sewerless areas will expect the same treatment. This can raise the cost to general ratepayers by another $16 million with city sewer installation costs running between $50,664 and $203,000 per lot for some 225 lots. (These figures are based on City estimates made in 2008.)  Neither are we dealing with impoverished acres.  I believe that one will find that virtually all of the lots involved have assessed values significantly above the Nanaimo average and were developed and sold as country “estates”.

The discussion here is not about whether our sewerless friends should be supported.  It is about the amount of that support and the tendency of Council to be overly generous with public money.  We have a lot of poverty in this town and we don’t need to push even more over the edge through taxation.

 

Matthew 25:29  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

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