The Final Chapter - A Good Future Example
We have seen how in the previous chapters how just a simple policy direction can
fuel tax increases over a long period of time, and if you still have any doubts
just look at your March 2019 Central Elgin water-wastewater bill or could this just be
more fake news.
As an example I went back seven years to 2013 when water-wastewater rates were compared
with 2012 and according to my rough calculations it seems that your bill from 2012
to 2019 has doubled or on average had a 12.5% yearly increase. That seems to be
more than the yearly rate of inflation over the same period.
Combined water/sewer bills comparison
On my March 15, 2019 bill my meter reading said I'd consumed 18 cubic meters of
water and my combined water/sewer bill from Central Elgin came in at $191.41. This
bill represents only a single person's water consumption for a roughly two month
These following bills represent a two person water consumption rate for a two month
period. On my March 12, 2012 bill my meter reading said I'd consumed 45 cubic meters
of water and my combined water/sewer bill from Central Elgin came in at $205.26.
On my March 13, 2013 bill my meter reading said I'd consumed 39 cubic meters of
water, or 6 cubic meters of water less than for the same period in the previous
year. My 2013 bill was $222.48, or $17.22 more than for the same period in
the previous year.
When it comes to budget water-wastewater costs, they are just a single item on a
list of hundreds. Now if you have some items on that budget list that keep going
up, in order to keep that tax-payers tax increase to a reasonable level, two options
The first and least expensive is to juggle finances around that have a side benefit
of "Controlled growth, with no debt" and the second is to borrow, and yes I think
we all know those famous words "Why wait for spring, do it now." Without going too
far back in time, and costing several million dollars, Port Stanley knows that second
option all too well.
Going back to the year 2010 when the Port Stanley Harbour was transferred to the
Municipality of Central Elgin from Transport Canada along with a one-time contribution
of $13.6 million to fund operation of the harbour, including dredging and breakwater
repair and reconstruction, and finally including a commitment from Transport Canada
of cleaning up the "berm" lands on the east side of the harbour to permit Parkland.
Those words of wisdom back then from a tax-payer funded study offered an opinion
that the only way to make the harbour entirely self-sufficient and not become a
tax-payer burden was to invest the money and wait to let the funds grow to a level
that could fund all that was needed to repair the harbour lands. Well almost nine
years later we know how that went. Sure we do have some of the harbour fixed, and
a substantial part of that $13.6 million we got from Transport Canada is gone, but
what about the rest of the work that still needs to be done, where does that money
Several opinions, proposals, and studies have come forward with the promise of putting
Port Stanley back into those glory days of history past. The plans of new development
filling up those lands that were once empty with condos, or mid-rise buildings seems
to be a very common theme. A common theme that seems to follow that distinctive path
of looking for a handout from the tax-payers public purse to pay for these wishful
dreams of making a very short summer season resort town busier.
Another possible drain on the taxpayers purse could be that political promise of
an additional route through a brownfield to Carlow Road from the new George Street
development. Something for nothing, I can only imagine what hidden costs will go
with that scheme a dream and this concludes "Have you ever wondered why taxes keep