Comment 25911

By jason (registered) | Posted July 12, 2008 at 13:15:48

I emailed all of council the above letter and received some pretty good reading from Whitehead and Bratina. I won't reprint their responses, other than this great info from Bratina which is public knowledge, but well articulated here by Bob as he responded to Terry's argument about these projects being a waste of money. My own two cents: how can we have a politician on council who believes turning around downtown, and thereby the entire city's image and ability to attract more investment, be considered a waste of money. Let's please can these guys in a hurry. Now onto Bob's great financial response:

The numbers say values have increased, and several renovation projects such as 14 Forest Avenue, 74 Hughson (at James..shown as vacant, but soon to become a renovated, expanded professional office), 155 John South (vacant building renovated into upscale restaurant/bar) 61 Young St. at John (vacant premises just purchased for restaurant) 180 James South (taxes increased $10 thousand dollars from 2006 to 2007), the adjacent neighbourhoods all showing significant property value increases of 25 to 60 per cent, and very large projects now in the planning stage for vacant or under-utilized properties. I could go on, but you didn't listen the first time so what's the point. We got $180 million dollar return on $1.3 million invested in the loans program. 31-35 John South just went from vacant to new $3.5 million restaurant/bar, likely a $70 thousand dollar increase in annual assessment. Staybridge Suites moved from $40 thousand to $340 thousand in taxes. We're pushing 2,000 new jobs over the past 2 years downtown. How are you doing up there?
You finish with "respectfully" but I don't sense true respect for the hard work and tangible results of our staff in cleaning up the mess that was downtown and bringing it back to respectability. I believe you were the one who asked why we should support the market if there are private supermarket operators providing the same service.

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