editor@theprogress.com

LETTER: Dollar figures don’t support creation, never mind completion of quay-to-quay path

City should question own financial priorities

To the Editor,

I attended the first open house and public engagement on the quay-to-quay path last month and had the opportunity to speak with a couple of the PWL consultants about route safety. In particular the safety of crossing the streets along Stamp Avenue, Roger Street, Gertrude Street and Victoria Quay as well as the proposed crossing arms at the Stamp crossing. A few other attendees were also involved in the conversation and also expressed their concerns about safety.

My take-away after that conversation is that the construction of the path is moving forward regardless of public input. This was confirmed by one of the PWL consultants who indicated that its not a matter of “if”…but rather a matter of “when” the path will be built.

I guess that’s why the survey has been designed to only give favourable responses to the questions.

The current estimated cost for the four kilometres of path is $7.5 million or $1.875 million per kilometre.

Though the city is hoping for a $2.5 million grant, council has also budgeted $5 million from reserves and general revenue (your tax dollars) for the remaining cost of the project, or $1.25 million per kilometre of your money.

By comparison, over the same five-year period, the city has budgeted only $625,000 for 600 metres of road paving, just over $100,000 annually for sidewalk replacement. Meanwhile, there are no plans to replace playground equipment that they removed over the last few years and the pool reserve fund sits around $170,000. By the time the path is completed over the next four years, the pool will be nearing 60 years old and its replacement still remains uncertain. I think we all need to question the City of Port Alberni’s priorities and how they intend to spend our tax dollars.

Randy Fraser,

Port Alberni

Municipal GovernmentPort Alberni