Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Could CLAWR Be Like an Inheritance From a Rich Uncle?

 Today, the City of Cold Lake is excited over the newly ratified agreement on the CLAWR (Cold Lake Air Weapons Range) First off congratulations to the council on getting this done. What has essentially happened, is the County of Lac La Biche has signed over the range to the City of Cold Lake. This will give Cold Lake approximately 12 million dollars in tax revenue in 2012 and up to 20 million by 2016. To put this in perspective, right now 15 million dollars in residential dollars make up the bulk of Cold Lake's budget.

Now everyone is excited, but what this reminds me of is how a long time ago a young man got an inheritance from a rich uncle and how that money was spent.

Now that young man was me, and I was very young when I got the money as an inheritance. I spent the money on a lot of useless stuff. A playstation, the very first one....yes, a television, and other useless bachelor stuff that I no longer possess. The only smart thing I bought with the money was the engagement ring and wedding band for my wife.

My point is not that council will act like kids with money, but far too often, people who come into money do not spend it wisely. They see it as an affirmation of wasteful spending habits. All I want council to see is that we have a lot to fix in the city. Sadly, the bulk of the bill falls not to the corporate tax base, no way. They continue to refurb their hotels and buy out more land to prevent competition. The Tri-City Mall rental signs are still a Medicine Hat phone number. The bulk of the load has always been on the residential tax base. Those of us who live and work and die in this town have been saddled with a crazy debt load.

It is time the City of Cold Lake thanks the residents of this city for keeping it afloat. It is time that they lower the residential tax base so that people can actually AFFORD to live in this city. We pay for a 4 lane highway to the marina, we pay for the Energy Centre TWICE. Once for the version 1.0 and now again for the hockey rinks that should have just been added years ago.

What the city has to fix is glaringly apparent. The water treatment centre which broke down and nearly crippled our city. The numerous lift stations that back up and cause sewage to fill houses and condos. There are other things that need to be addressed I am sure. I have confidence our council will do what is right for our city.

I just want to point out that sometimes money can cause full steam ahead on bad projects. We do not need to develop every piece of land in our city. We are not ever going to be as big as Edmonton, hell I don't think we will ever get to be as big as Lethbridge, Medicine Hat or Red Deer.

Take a page out of Obama's book. Time to start taxing the big rich business people. Stop riding on the little guys back...you're going to break it.

That's just the way I see things I guess.