At the recent all candidates meetings it became apparent that many candidates seem to believe that more development will increase the tax base and that the increased tax revenue, thus generated will solve the city’s financial problems.
This may be true if limited development, such as filling in vacant lots, can be serviced by the existing infrastructure.
What they fail to recognize is that large scale developments, such as that just approved for Renz Road, often require expanding the infrastructure. Costly new, or enlarged, water and sewer lines etc. may be needed to service such excessive growth. These capital costs fall on the existing residents.
We have been told that old infrastructure needs to be updated. Often this simply means that the pipes are too small to service the large developments that council has authorized. For example, how long will it be before there is a call for a new sewage plant and for enlarging the sewers leading to it?
Residents are all too familiar with the restrictions and high rates we now pay for water. This is in the name of water conservation.
Some candidates seem to believe that the residents of Parksville should not water their gardens or should convert them to gravel, so that there will be water available for new building.
Limited development may be beneficial, but many cities have learned the hard way that the cost of new infrastructure to service large developments does not lower, but rather significantly increases taxes.
Should citizens have to economize so that out-of-town developers can make handsome profits?
W.H. Atwood, Parksville