Comment 66514

By Sigma Cub (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2011 at 14:37:05 in reply to Comment 66508

The city's answer is to spend more money. And while you're "elated to have improved water service and a much dryer basement," they'd have let the trunk-lines moulder were it not for flooding. They're much more interested in other infrastructure.

~ ~ ~

Hamilton’s biggest problems are roads and sidewalks. While $48.5 million is budgeted per year, closer to $140 million would be needed to sustain the existing roads over the next 100 years.

The city takes about $2.50 a day from residents for roads and traffic through property taxes. According to the city’s 2009 State of the Infrastructure Report, more than $4 a day would be needed to sustain roads and traffic over the next 100 years.

'The regular budget is not dealing with the issue any more,' Murray said, adding that the federal government’s gas tax and money from the provincial surplus have helped recently. But he fears what will happen when that well is dry.

So what is Hamilton doing? This year’s $48.5 million for roads, traffic and bridges represents an $8.5 million increase. This means, along with the main roads, work can be done on local roads and sidewalks...

About $32.7 million from provincial surplus funds and the city’s tax levy went to this program, which has completed 17 neighbourhoods or 5.7 per cent of the local and collector road network since 2009."

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In other words, the cost to the city of the B-Line LRT investment is roughly what should be spent on Hamilton roads and sidewalk maintenance *every year* and what is actually spent on roads/sidewalk infrastructure every three years. And those investments simply buy us the status quo.

I agree that the city should live within its means, but the haphazard way they're going about it does not speak of judgement borne of reflection. I'd be more impressed to have a State of the City letting taxpayers know that they'd be getting a zero-increase tax bill, but also an accompanying austerity program that impacted every non-essential service in the municipality, for as long as it took to get our house back in order. But that's unlikely to happen because Hamilton is addicted to rescue money from upper government, and the province and feds are always open to some naked vote-buying.

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