LETTER: What about project costs?
In your recent story,“Living High in Mayberry……..” you report that Councillor Fisher is asking taxpayers the question “do you know what you are paying for”
Andrew Bennett is doing great work in trying to reduce the budget to simple one-liners that people can easily understand; however isn’t this something the City should be doing? Not everyone reads the Telegraph.
I think that many taxpayers are aware in general terms of the services that they are paying for but few take the time to peruse the budget and financial plan to look at actual numbers. In other words they know what they are paying for but not how much!
The same can be said for capital projects costs but in this case even councillors don’t know the cost.
On Sept 27th you wrote a story titled, “What will Columbia – Washington cost taxpayers? Still no answers for Coun. Moore.” It would appear that even councillors are being kept in the dark on the project cost and the impact on taxes.
Remember the Ophir Creek reservoir project? Taxpayers have never been told the final cost of the reservoir, how it is being paid for, and the impact on taxes. This was a project estimated at $ 2.3 million and all indications are that it cost more than double that amount, even after some items of work were taken out of the budget. Why is City Hall reluctant to “come clean” on this one?
The two diligent and numerate councillors who tried to obtain final cost information for the Ophir Creek reservoir, (Coun. Moore and former Coun. Charlton), were never successful and if they couldn’t, what chance did interested taxpayers have in getting this information out of City Hall? None! I know. I tried long and hard!
Taxpayers should insist that we are not treated like mushrooms on the Columbia-Washington project as we have been on the Ophir Creek Reservoir project. (I.e. kept in the dark and fed ‘bull manure’). However, the refusal to provide cost information for the Columbia-Washington project to Councillor Moore does not provide any comfort that taxpayers will not be treated the same way this time around.