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Letter to the Editor - "We are at end of residential boom"

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Without any question, we are at the end of a residential boom. It is usually followed by an increase in commercial building.

The number reported of $12 million in value is a good number. It is also misleading. The real numbers are how many residential permits have been issued.

We are running at 50 per cent less of last year’s level, indicating a slowdown in residential construction reducing residential growth from the eight per cent average. As indicated in our financial statements of the last ten year average, deficit financing is not a good plan for economic success. Inflation and high interest rates outside of our control will persist. Cutting spending is the only cure.

In addition to balancing our budget every year and implementing a debt reduction plan over ten years, simple accounting will show that the cost of financing our debt at current rates will double. We have over $100 million of debt including pension liabilities. It is wise and essential to reduce those liabilities over a period of time to a minimum starting now.

The recent decision by the public school board to levy a development charge, adding a new revenue stream, saw no municipality appeal that decision. Some members of our council support a county levy, adding to the cost of housing, which is supporting double-dipping. After giving themselves a pay raise of 130 per cent retroactive to Jan. 1, these fees are passed on to consumers at the worst possible time.

The numbers of new businesses relocation in our town such as Burger King, Starbucks and Dairy Queen, but they have not yet replaced Kentucky Fried Chicken. Some have relocated to a new location such as the LCBO. We are not further ahead.

Economic success can only be achieved with private sector investment. Not having made a decision on the proposed redevelopment on Belle Vue will discourage those very same people willing to invest.

In a little longer than two years, we will elect a new council, holding all member to account for having raised taxes in total 11.5 per cent in a 12-month period, not including the possibility of a higher water rate and wastewater surcharge.

I am an optimist. I believe in miracles.


—Frank Cerasa Amherstburg

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