One of the issues that will be facing City Council this year is
deciding how to fund the south end rock sewer tunnel. The $31 million
tunnel will greatly benefit any development in that part of the city, but
it comes with a financial obligation of approximately $8000 per projected
home that is to be built over the next 40 years. Without the construction
of the sewer tunnel, the under capacity of the existing sewer system would
restrict, if not prohibit any further development in the south end.
The project was to have been a joint venture between several levels
of government, including the City of
Apparently, however, there is an $8 million shortfall due to the fact that
the federal government did not come up with it’s one third of the
project. This shortfall must be made up from somewhere else.
All city residents, including those living in
and Capreol are now paying for the City’s
share of the tunnel costs through taxes as well as water and sewer levies.
Now, it appears as if more of our taxes will be needed to pay for the
shortfall unless Council decides to charge developers directly for the
full amount of the needed finances. At the present time, Council appears
to be prepared to charge developers of residential homes half of the
shortfall, or $4000 - $5000 with the rest of the money coming out of the general
municipal tax base
OF THE COST TO UPGRADE SEWER & WATER
It is the policy of the City of Greater Sudbury to pick up half of the
cost of sewer and water upgrades for any given area of the city if it
improves services to existing, older homes, as is the case in the south
end. In new developments, the developer must bear the full cost of any
upgrades. Therefore, the shortfall will have to be made up by existing
ratepayers across the city.
WILL THE TUNNEL BENEFIT?
The tunnel will admittedly allow a great deal more residential and
commercial development in the south end, however, people living in
are questioning the wisdom of spending money on infrastructure to develop
the south end when there already exists sufficient infrastructure in
for that kind of development. Further, if the
City decides to enhance the infrastructure of the south end, then why
should residents of
have to pay with a portion of their
Proponents of developing the south end say that the entire city
will benefit from any expansion of homes and commercial buildings in that
area. The increase in the tax base will pay for the investment over time. They also say that the south end is where the demand is. Once again,
beg to differ, and can make a solid argument
that the demand is indeed in the ‘North End”, namely in
and not in the South End at all.
30 YEAR CENSUS HISTORY
Another census is about to take place in 2006. One is done every
five years. The results of the 2006 census are not expected to be
available until around 2008, however, for now all we need to do is examine
the long-term census figures from 1971 to 2001 to demonstrate where the
real demand is for growth.
During the period from 1971 to 2001, the population of the entire
Greater Sudbury Area fell by over 9%, going from a high of 169,580 to its
2001 level of 153,920.
OF 25% IN VALLEY EAST
During that same period of time, the community of
was governed by al local municipal government. We had our own Mayor and
Council and even achieved the status of CITY prior to amalgamation in
January 2001. During that time Valley East
had a very strong economic development
committee and the council actively promoted the community. Therefore, while
the entire region was in the midst of losing residents, the town of
experienced an increase in population of 25%.
Let me repeat –
increased in size by 25% while the entire region lost 9%. Comparatively,
the former City of
itself saw a drop in population of 15%.
GROWTH OF 106% IN NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS
When we examine the number of households in the region during those
same 30 years, we see that there was an overall increase in the number of
households of 47%. The town of
, however, was the only one of the seven
original municipalities to experience a triple-digit increase in the
number of households.
increased in size by 106%, more than doubling its size. The closest
municipality to us was Rayside Balfour which increased its number of
households by 71%. The old city of
went up 37%.
HIGHEST AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME LEVEL
Let us examine one more piece of data. In 1970, Walden had the
highest average household income of all seven municipalities. At that
ranked 5th out of seven. Thirty
years later, in the year 2000, Walden still held on to first place, but
had climbed into 2nd place, just
WHERE IS THE REAL DEMAND?
Many Valley East residents
are claiming that the real demand for growth and development is not in
the south end, but rather in
East? People who move into the Sudbury area have
to Valley East. There is plenty of space available in the Valley East
industrial park. There is plenty of land available for residential
expansion. Basically, Valley East has everything, and yet, it appears as
if much of the development is
being directed to the south end of the city.
MANUFACTURING AN ARTIFICIAL DEMAND?
Many people in
are concerned that the city staff and council is trying to artificially
manufacture a demand in the south end. It is obvious that Valley
has been the major growth area for the period
from 1971 to 2001 and should have been given consideration for development
investment. Especially since
has much of the infrastructure already in place. We do not need a rock
EAST RESIDENTS DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR THE SOUTH END
With taxes being increased, and services cut, local residents are
going to ask some very hard questions about why we should pay even more to
develop the south end and help stimulate growth in an area that is
developing at a much slower pace than we are experiencing in
Valley East. Answers are expected
to be forthcoming as we approach the municipal elections in November.