Letter: One per cent too little, too late for infrastructure

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The Oak Bay News article (Nov. 28) on Oak Bay’s infrastructure was well-timed.

This past week, caution markers and water overflowing the Willows Beach parking lot is a reminder of the poor condition of our infrastructure. Daniel Horan’s report at November’s council meeting was indeed sobering. As I stated in my remarks at the meeting one per cent is too little, too late. It is less than the amount the district contributed to arts and culture in the CRD and community this year.

Almost a decade has passed since the 2009 Capital Asset Analysis flagged the problem. OCP Section 5.2 identifies the infrastructure problem but, unlike Victoria for example, fails to mandate a long-term financial plan. Our mayor and council have the authority to establish policy for long term capital planning and reserve funds. Their initial Strategic Priorities Plan set a goal for Reserve Fund Policy by 2015. However, with four members voting to obscure budgets by hiding charges on water bills or offset tax increases by transferring money from meagre reserve funds, it is unlikely that a solution will come prior to the next election.

E. Paterson

Oak Bay

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