LETTER TO THE EDITOR: CARM backs lift station bylaw
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
We need your support!
Local journalism needs your support!
As we navigate through unprecedented times, our journalists are working harder than ever to bring you the latest local updates to keep you safe and informed.
Now, more than ever, we need your support.
Starting at $14.99 plus taxes every four weeks you can access your Brandon Sun online and full access to all content as it appears on our website.Subscribe Now
or call circulation directly at (204) 727-0527.
Your pledge helps to ensure we provide the news that matters most to your community!
We would like to publicly thank the mayor and councillors for their willingness to hold community roles and to be stewards of our city and its people. The roles involve complex tasks of directing, listening, leading, and planning for the future of Brandon.
As discussions have taken place around the southwest lift stations, and a vote by council is coming shortly, the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba (CARM) would like to provide additional insight to assist our city councillors.
CARM fully supports the southwest lift stations and the city borrowing the money to facilitate this project. We are familiar with the development charge structure and that money collected through development charges would be sufficient to cover these costs if future development is able to continue.
We want to draw attention to the impact on the 4,000 to 5,000 construction industry employees in Brandon. This makes up about 10 per cent of our citizens. If the lift station project does not proceed, there would be a major impact to a large portion of these individuals.
Inflation has increased cost of everyday necessities, and not having employment will lead to further difficulties providing for their families. This, however, will not only affect those who would be out of work or reduced work — it will also impact our local businesses and our economy. These individuals and their families will not have the means to spend money at our restaurants, movie theatres, sporting events and buying cars to name a few, and will largely impact all businesses that count on their revenue from consumers.
Brandon has been a hub of a large catchment area outside of Winnipeg, which could be in jeopardy as we would not have the available housing or the increase of commercial space to entice business to our city. Even further these families may be forced to move away from Brandon for employment placing a greater burden on the economy.
If this development does not proceed, it would halt any opportunity for economic growth and development of commercial and industrial projects that provide greater revenue to the city year over year. The percentage of tax revenue paid by commercial and industrial businesses is a much higher percentage then homeowners.
If we are not able to develop commercial and industrial lands, it would leave only one solution, resulting in increasing revenue through raising property taxes to the individual landowners. Our current system is barely able to maintain the infrastructure that we currently have, and the cost of upgrading needs to come from somewhere. The city would also miss out on new employment opportunities. Loss of development means loss of jobs.
CARM will not reiterate all the points made by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce in its letter. We will add our support to their comments and acknowledge that clarity by the city on the cost increases to our water utility payments and the effect the southwest lift stations actually has on those numbers would give better understanding to the general public.
Throughout discussions there was talk of development in other areas of Brandon and the public needs to be aware that there would be increased cost to infrastructure in these areas as well and that it will not negate the city needing to borrow money to upgrade and develop infrastructure regardless of where the development takes place within the city.
On behalf of CARM membership and our board of directors, CARM is in support of the proposed bylaw for the southwest lift stations.
SHAWN WOOD, executive director
Construction Association of Rural Manitoba