To The Editor,

The recent commentary through the newspaper demonstrates, that yes, the public is interested in the financial well-being of the community.

Yes, new Council members are finding their way through the procedures as part of the learning curve which they are overcoming.

The various proposals, contained within the budget documents being reviewed, maybe a “wish list” to some, however, more importantly to all ratepayers regardless of economic abilities is what can we afford.

Splash pads and outdoor rinks keep our youth out of mischief and healthy. The capital cost is in part being subsidized by a grant and will require community fundraisers for the balance, GREAT. What is missing from the equation is the long-term maintenance costs associated with such facilities. Example being, brick remediation is needed at the Vankleek Hill Library. There are extensive project repairs/upgrades to be addressed for all the infrastructure assets of the township today and in the future estimated in the range of 10 million $’s.

I agree with Mr. Charest, economic development is missing from the budget, except as classified in the ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Department submission for a sign/s having a proposed cost of $ 31,177.00 which represents a 2498% increase over the previous year 2018. Also noted under expenditures is the reduction of salaries/benefits totalling $ 26,669.00.  I may only conclude that announcing coming events within the township with such a sign will have the potential to attract tourism dollars and provide needed income to the local merchants. It is reasonable to make such an assumption and MAYBE sustain the businesses’ collective financial heads above water.

However, RATEPAYERS deserve an explanation on how a sign will produce significant taxable revenues (property tax revenues) with an expenditure of this nature.

In the writer’s opinion, the township has failed in their responsibilities to formally promote or solicit business development even with the acquisition of an addition (17 +/-) acreage in the commercial area. Unless the wait-and-see attitude changes the only aspect of the community, we all cherish is the TAX RATE.

Jim Walsh, L’Orignal