Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, April 26


 

Posted April 26

Posted Feb. 16

Posted Feb. 17

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney



 

 

 

   

 

(Posted 10:30 a.m., Sept. 20)
Eye-opening report puts hefty price tag on fixing city's aging infrastructure
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

A staff report on the state of the city's aging infrastructure has painted a bleak picture of just how far behind the city has fallen in maintaining our roads, bridges and municipal facilities.

According to the report, the city needs to spend $165 million a year each year for the next 10 years to properly maintain the more than $32 billion in infrastructure assets it has. That's more than double what the city currently spends and does not include non-rate supported assets such as water, waste water and transit assets.

The staff investigation revealed that 16 per cent of all assets are in poor or very poor condition, 37 per cent are in fair condition and 47 per cent are in good or very good condition.

The city's medium and small culverts are in the poorest condition, followed by the city's sports fields, utility recreation buildings and collector roads.

As long as the city continues to ignore the ongoing infrastructure deficit, the bill will continue to grow with each passing year. To put the $85 million shortfall in perspective, the city would have to raise taxes 8.5 per cent to generate the revenue necessary to close the gap. The problem is that city council has made a committment to cap future tax increases at 2.5 per cent.

The City has also taken on more than $1.4 billion in debt, which will further balloon with the construction of light rail.

Just where the money will come from to fix the city's aging infrastructure is unknown.

City council implemented a two per cent infrastructure surcharge in 2008 which would have raised over $20 million a year, but it was eliminated two years later under the guise of the Infrastructure Stimulus program.

At the time several councillors argued that the program made the surcharge redundant and therefore it was no longer necessary.

The City received $240 million from the provincial and federal governments under the Intrastructure Stimulus program, but a good chunk of the money went to build new infrastructure rather than fix exisiting assests. As a result the infrastructure deficit continues to grow and the city's roads, sidewalks and culverts continue to deteriorate.

The finance and economic develop.m.ent committee will meet again on Oct. 2 to hear the treasury’s plan to pay for the huge maintenance bill.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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Posted Jan. 12



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