Monday, November 29, 2010

Merrily we roll along

Saturday's SP (Nov. 27/10) contained an article on the City's proposals for capital spending and possibilities for P3 funding from the federal government. The notable millions of dollars of capital debt on the horizon, both existing and pending, reads as follows: Bus Barns/Yards $200, Fire Halls $13, Police Station $91, City Hall $15, Art Gallery $66, Shaw Centre $47, River Landing $82, Traffic Bridge $30, South Bridge $300. Total: $844 million dollars. The 25th Street expansion and the public library have not been listed. This is not a complete list of city debt, simply the most notable. The figures are not fixed and subject to increase.

Some of this debt has contribution from the provincial and/or federal government. By example, the Art Gallery will receive $26 million in provincial/federal funding leaving the local tax base to pick up $40 million. The South Bridge receives some funding but I am unclear as to the amount. Nor off hand can I recall whether or not RL received any outside financing.

Each of these capital projects will require additional taxation for operating and/or maintenance.

I am curious as to who the private partner might be for the Barns/Yards. Or for that matter any of the other listed pending projects. Any ideas?

The cost of voter complaisance is high. When all done, on scale, this council's debt may leave Devine's government looking like pikers.

As we cross the River Styx I shudder at the thought of the ferryman's fee.


  1. I believe the South Bridge is around $260-280 million and is split equally between the City, Province, and Feds.

    I do believe RL has funding from at least the Province as well.

    It's quite the laundry list, and that also does not include the tens of millions in much needed infrastructure repair/replacement or the proposed billion dollar North Bridge already being discussed.

  2. Elaine I would hope your time on council taught you that City Council does budget for the items they are spending money on, meaning that much of what you are listing is paid for with existing funds raised at the current rate of taxation? Otherwise, it is a very good thing to know you are on Council anymore.

    And some of these items are not 'on the horizon', they are bought and paid for (i.e. Shaw Centre, much of River Landing, Fire Halls).

    I know you like trying to get a rise out of people, but I hope you are smart enough to realize that your tally of 'additional taxation' is a nice pile of mis-information, on top of some legitimate new costs.

  3. I truly appreciate the mistress' blog. Opinions welcome! Thank you for just putting out the information. There are many armchair politicians out here who pay for these salaries and projects....Thanks Mistress'.

  4. Many of our infrastructure projects are trough loans. We currently sit at around 300 million in debt, with about $10 per year going to servicing that debt.

    The City used to subscribe to a pay-as-you-go style of budgeting, but in the past 7 years (more so in the past 3) has moved increasingly towards a borrowing to pay budgeting process.

    The numbers are broken down here:

  5. trough = through

    and $10 per year = $10 million per year

    sorry about that!

  6. Anon 10:37,

    Get over yourself and please quit frequenting the blog. Clearly if you did anything, other than take anonymous potshots at the Mistress, you would realize that just because something is built does not mean it is paid for. Do some research on the Shaw Centre before you open you big mouth to spew YOUR garbage of misinformation.

    As pointed out by Sean above, many of these projects have been taken on in a borrow the money format, meaning we still do have to pay for them (as well as the interest on them) in the future.

    I understand that you probably have an axe to grind with the Mistress, too bad you have to keep coming here and recycling your tired old inaccurate beliefs.

    As for today's post, I have been echoing my concern for a long time. This current council is determined to get stuff done (which I applaud), however, they have yet to realize how they will pay for everything they want. They are abusing their excellent credit rating to build now and pay later.

  7. "And some of these items are not 'on the horizon', they are bought and paid for (i.e. Shaw Centre, much of River Landing, Fire Halls)."

    Learn to read. The Mistress posted:

    "The notable millions of dollars of capital debt on the horizon, both existing and pending, reads as follows: "

    The Shaw Centre was built on debt, and will have to be repaid.

    And are you honestly under the impression that the City has saved up the funds needed to carry out everything at River Landing? That the tens of millions of dollars were banked over time and stored until now? Or do you realize that Cities don't do business like that, but rather borrow.

    Thank god you aren't on council and are spending your time trolling the internet spreading lies that advance your agenda or those of a like mind.


  8. The tone in this and other posts is disturbing, even while I agree with the general concerns about escalating costs...

    To all those who resort to ad hominem arguments on this blog, your personal insults make it very difficult to side with you in any argument, even when I agree with the point(s) you are trying to make.
    Regardless of what you are saying, if you are unable to support your position on the basis of facts and reason without resorting to personal attacks, perhaps you need to reconsider your position, or at least consider the positions of others with a more open mind.

    Sorry to be off topic.

  9. Sean S;
    I thoought that trough was kind of appropriate.


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