Comments to Central Elgin council from ratepayers association

December 3, 2009

The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors
The Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin
450 Sunset Drive
St. Thomas, ON N5R 5V1

2010 Municipal Budget

Ladies & Gentleman:

It’s a very harsh economic environment, especially for the many who have or are about to lose their jobs and for those who must live off retirement funds that have taken a severe blow in the investment markets.

The excuse of provincial downloading seems to be back. The potential loss of $500,000 from the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) may be real but it’s a red herring. All municipalities will be effected by this chop of funds. It doesn’t change the fact that Central Elgin is one of the most highly taxed municipalities in Ontario. The Municipality of Central Elgin and the County of Elgin have historically done a poor job of keeping tax increases near inflation. Only a roll back of the municipal and county tax levy and costs over the next five years will placate voters in Central Elgin. Our membership and the public are becoming more vocal about this issue.
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Investing in our past keeps us on track for a brighter tomorrow

The crew over at the Elgin County Railway Museum, in addition to their yeoman service as guardians of this area’s railway heritage, are now the subject of a news item in Built Heritage News, published by Toronto architect Catherine Nasmith.
The on-line journal applauds the efforts of the city in acquiring railway lands and assisting the ECRM in negotiating the purchase of their home (the former Michigan Central Locomotive Repair Shops) from CN.
The direction is lauded as an investment in rail history tourism in light of the “devastating blows to the St. Thomas economy.”
However, praise is tempered with the following admonishment.
“Infamous as the city that stood by as Alma College suffered demolition by neglect and destruction by arson.”
My, how our reputation has spread far and wide.
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