YMCA should not be a priority project

Our city has released a document listing what are referred to as “priority projects.”

Our city has released a document listing what are referred to as “priority projects.”

In it are items such as the sewer treatment plant upgrades at a cost of $8.1 million.  New water source funding is also on the list.

Then there’s the YMCA partnership that comes in at $35 million. Why is this even on the list? Exactly how can we can afford millions for another pool when we could not afford to keep the Matsqui Village pool open? Our local chamber of commerce supports the YMCA proposal, but is not a source of any creative ideas when it comes to funding.

Would we raise business taxes? I seem to remember a call for business taxes to decrease rather than increase. Or should we raise residential taxes?

Steve Butz (CEO of Vancouver’s YMCA) is quoted as saying: “Building it is the cheap money.” He then moderates his comments by saying, “It is expensive to build, but infinitely more expensive to operate.”

Yet even if the $2.5 million in annual operating costs do not directly accrue to the Abbotsford taxpayer, from where exactly will the funding originate? Is it possible (even likely) that a good chunk will come from the feds, the province or Fraser Health?

All those sources receiving tax dollars from Abbotsford residents. And if Fraser Health has any spare change, perhaps it could direct that money to our local hospital so that patients don’t have to sleep in the hallways.

Much of our modern world is in a financial mess.  Countries, states and provinces get there by spending money they do not have.

Does our city have to follow this same questionable path?

Regina Dalton

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