Letter to the editor “ASSESSMENTS EASY MONEY” by Roland Besner of Cornwall Ontario

LTEFirstly, I have no objections to any moderate municipal tax increases but monies should be used to maintain the current services offered to ratepayers.

If in fact the city of Cornwall for 2013 has new assessments totaling some 25 million dollars then these and future assessments that create tax dollars should be directly used towards  new ideas for the benefit of its citizens.

No matter who, the entire population are those who contribute to the tax base and they are the ones. that should be compensated. Don’t forget the saying live, work and play in Cornwall

We can live and work here but what about play?  this one item is often past over.

Where can middle to upper age people play ? Casinos? Bingo Halls? Where can the younger generation afford to play ?

So then why can’t:

Big Ben Ski Hill complex not be converted into a BMX trail for bikers while also the ski hill not converted to a summer sand boarding facility. It could also incorporate a fairly long hiking trail. The site could be a 12 month facility for use by all !!

The Benson centre could offer senior skating five days a week, 9during open slots) after all the ice is not always rented, what about more public skating, the city already has the fixed overhead cost so why not not have it available, but if someone wishes to rent the ice they would have first dibs.

After all what does it cost to have a Zamboni operator clean the ice surface, he or she is no doubt already in the building.

What is the problem with taking new tax dollars from new assessments and help to create affordable retirement housing for seniors, after all we have affordable housing for low income families.

What about the unfortunate people in different areas suffering from the recent floods, does city hall not understand this as an important issue.

It is an extremely important issue !.

I am personally not affected in these floods.

and, what about visitors to Cornwall with travel trailers and or RV’S.  We could easily accommodate them with free use of dumping stations and fresh water. Stations could be set up at Lamoureux and Guindon Parks. Again, this as a free service to visitors an at a no cost factor other than perhaps a few road signs. Currently there is only one facility and that is at a truck stop for an expensive fee.

The bean counters need to realize that for taxpayers the play factor  is not there in all sectors of the population. They must understand that in future all dollars created as a result of new assessments should to be re-allocated to its ratepayers and kept as a separate entity  from general revenues.

I always remember the saying “Keep the customer happy and they will return”

No, this is not an election speech, my wife and I born and raised here and in the last 6 years have driven and visited all 48 lower mainland states as well Alaska, and Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia including the Yukon. We have seen lots and done lots and taken things in strides hoping to bring some ideas home.

And to the waterfront committee you make want to check out what Port Alberni on Vancouver Island has done with its waterfront.. AMAZINGLY priced ideas !!

I seem to recall an article in the Freeholder regarding Smart Centers whereby an assessed of value of some 40 million dollars would create a million dollars of new revenue for the city. (but I stand to be corrected)

Why can’t it all start there??

I welcome all replies


Roland Besner – Cornwall Ontario

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  1. While I agree partially with Roland, I believe any increase in tax revenue should be used to maintain city services and not reduce them come budget time.

    In regard to “Big Ben” it cannot be used in any other season other than winter due to it being a 80 metre tall dumpsite within the city filled with wood bark, paper mill sludge, demolition waste and asbestos. In September 2008, over public opposition and in spite of Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) reports indicating off site leachate impact from the dump and the likelihood of runoff to the St.Lawrence River, the MOE permitted additional dumping at the “Big Ben” site of creosote and bitumin contaminated soils from Domtar’s former No-co-rode Ltd. site. Although the area is touted as recreational it is off limits until winter when the waste is covered and the odours are subdued.

    As for the waterfront the area up for debate and the recent plans revealed the city must realize that the area involved is not owned by them. It is owned by the federal government and they will not give it up easily or cheap.

  2. Rolland, great for-sight for our wonderful city of Cornwall, but, if it’s not their idea, (polititians), it won’t go anywhere. As for the waterfront, I expect big conservative business will get their grubby little hands on it sooner or later.

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