With threats from City Hall bouncing all over the community regarding a tax shortfall, let’s put a few things into perspective.
City Hall chose to proceed with the airport extension and terminal upgrade at a cost of $8.3 million. It chose to proceed with the Highway 19A upgrade – a $13.5 million dollar upgrade – and stepped up to bail a sports club out of debt to the tune of $100,000. The hard questions are, is Westjet landing at the Campbell River Airport? The simple answer is, no.
Will the beautification of Highway 19A do anything to reduce taxes or bring new income generating enterprises to Campbell River? The simple answer is no. The $100,000 bailout would have reduced the taxes on 1,000 residential properties by $100 each rather than the $200 increase they are potentially facing.
City Hall has to get a grip and must start managing our money within the revenue stream. The wishful pretence that things will get better is not in the cards. Our most ungracious corporate citizen, Catalyst, must be held accountable for the economic blackmail they have held this community to. The city must be prepared to have Catalyst post monies in trust until such time as their operations site has been proven environmentally sound. This could cost millions and the spectre of the city being left holding the bag is a definite possibility.