Snow and ice removal in Fernie the past several years has gotten to be very poorly done. It is allowed to sit on the streets which will destroy the pavement underneath it. What happens when snow and ice are not removed with our weather swings, the ice melts when we have warmer weather and it flows in the cracks in that very pavement. When it freezes, that water freezes and expands. Next thaw, more water seeps into those cracks. Freezes again. This is the biggest reason why our streets every spring look like they have been blown up. It might save money at the time, but will cost huge expenditures when the roads need to be replaced. It is actually costing the citizens more money in the long run. Plowing the streets in a timely manner is actually preventative maintenance.
There doesn’t seem to be a crack sealing program anymore, which is meant to save your bad roads.
You can fool the newcomers, but not the old time residents that have seen how th streets were maintained before. Furthermore, how to seniors or anyone with mobility issues navigate these streets and sidewalks. Time to go back to the way they were done several years ago It worked.
Your Worship, I have a huge concern about the possibility of Fernie City tax increases, as a senior citizen on a fixed income it is becoming more and more difficult to make ends meet and I am sure that I am not alone in this. If you will forgive me, I must point out that politicians and bureaucrats in general seem to think that the tax payer money tree is never ending in fruit but there must come a time when it withers and dies, and I think that has taken place here in Fernie.
The cost of living in Fernie and indeed in the country has gone through the roof, home and property assessments this year in Fernie have increased on average 19 per cent, my own home 19.5 per cent, as a person on a fixed income any increase in taxes causes a direct hit on the ability to manage funds, I am asking Council to please try to conduct business as most households do, refrain from unneeded expenses, be it projects other than needed infrastructure and wage increases, there always seems to be a desire by mostly senior staff to create projects instead of managing things like roads, sidewalks etc which are a direct benefit to taxpayers on a daily basis.
I know that 5 per cent increase has been floated around as a possible tax increase, this, if it comes is on top of an already huge increase in assessments and is unacceptable, it is surely time to reign in city spending, you just cannot keep raising taxes, you are forcing people to have to sell their homes in order to survive, and if we do, where do we go ? It is somewhat ironic that most of you campaigned on affordable housing creation, simply put just the act of increasing home taxes every year helps to creates unaffordable housing, people that own homes to rent just pass on those increases to the renter, they do not absorb them, and as home owners on fixed incomes are forced to sell their homes it to increases the price of a home so it becomes a never ending cycle of tax increase to home increase prices.
Without going into too much personal detail, my own home my late wife and I built in 1974, we raised our family in it and planned to retire in it, I hoped I would also die in it, there are so many memories, but as taxes keep increasing what little savings I have will be gone inside five years at the current rate, I have no desire to sell my home, I have no desire to be confined to a senior home or apartment, I also do not desire, as some have suggested, to defer paying taxes each year, it is in my opinion just like paying the minimum payment on a credit card. Most of the seniors in this city helped create what is here now, we paid our taxes, many of us ran businesses and supplied services over the last 50 odd years or more, now we are being made to feel like we are past our sell by date and expendable, just “sell up and move on”.
The recent report done on the City operation stated that the finances had been terribly run to put it bluntly, yet where did all the tax money go, house building in the last 5 to 10 years has been on a tear, new subdivisions all over, DCC’s were brought in years ago, actually by a council I was part of, they were suppose to pay for the cost of new services to these subdivisions, what happened ? where did all this money go, where the DCC’s increased or decreased on all these new sub divisions ? or are the taxpayers in general having to subsidize developers ? I am asking that as a body, Council and Senior staff refrain from any major project such as leisure centers etc and concentrate on bringing just regular services to the taxpayers, we live in an area that provides people with lots of recreation naturally, it does not need enhancement by building monuments.
David R Gildea