The aging clock tower at Harbour Quay, as pictured in this photo from January 2017, will be receiving a facelift. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

The aging clock tower at Harbour Quay, as pictured in this photo from January 2017, will be receiving a facelift. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

LETTER: City of Port Alberni’s ‘wait and see’ strategy is costing taxpayers money

Obviously costs for repairs go up year over year just like everything else…

To the Editor,

Re: City applies for more clock tower funding, July 21, 2021.

A recent AV News article reported that the city is applying for funding to supplement the budget in order to finally get the clock tower at Harbor Quay repaired because “costs have outpaced funding” and the repairs are over the budgeted amount. These repairs have been budgeted annually for as long as I can remember. Who has been responsible for budgeting this project when it’s always wrong?

Obviously costs for repairs go up year over year just like everything else. If the strategy being followed by the city is to wait until costs go down, then no improvements will ever be made to things that are important to our community. The city needs to stop procrastinating on spending money to maintain our existing infrastructure items and take action.

Also, at a recent council meeting, the city spent a long time debating the cost of a new ladder truck for the fire department. As with the clock tower, the cost for a new truck has gone up since council deferred the purchase years ago. But the city has an equipment replacement fund for this purchase so why is council now pinching pennies on items of importance?

I find it odd that, in these two examples, the city is trying to “find” money and lamenting over these important items yet they have no problem considering spending $5 million on a path along the tracks; or considering spending millions on expropriation of the Somass Mill; or buying and remodeling a building on Third Avenue for roughly $700,000; and then approving a 40 percent pay raise that they say is for the next council, which I’m sure they hope will include them.

If the clock tower is an example of how well council can budget and plan, don’t expect a new pool anytime soon.

Randy Fraser,

Port Alberni

municipal politicsPort Alberni