Uncertain about St. Albert's future
| Posted: Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 06:00 am
I recently attended the City of St. Albert business breakfast and left feeling uncertain of many things.
The city administration and council said that they have provided certainty to some developers, but certainty of what, other than the fact that taxpayers would be responsible for bringing services to these sites?
The city and council said they are ready to help St. Albert businesses, but I am not certain how when their current focus is a big-money roadway and big-money service plans for new development.
The city and council promoted the completion of Ray Gibbon Drive at the expense of St. Albert taxpayers with the hope of return of funds from the province. I am not certain this expense will be high on provincial priorities.
The city and council promoted the Capital Region Board and suggested our Sturgeon neighbours need to get on board. I am certain my taxes would be less if I lived in Sturgeon and I am certain that the county of Sturgeon does not like being bullied by any lobbyist for the City of Edmonton.
The city and council promoted the fact they would be looking for new school locations to accommodate projected growth. I am quite certain that this statement goes against the fact that the Capital Region Board promotes filling in unused school locations with high-density housing.
The city and council claimed responsibility for attracting developers in each corner of the city and as well for bringing Target and another big box store to town. I am certain that any responsible developer or big business does his own research of where they will be successful and the city had no hand in the acquisition.
It was announced that we have a new economic development team operating out of a new city building and its main focus is the small amount of undeveloped land St. Albert has left. I am uncertain we need a team of this size to fly around in a helicopter and design videos of vacant land at taxpayers’ expense.
As the city of Edmonton continues to grow and with the large amount of development planned for the Redwater North zone, St. Albert naturally becomes a focus point for developers and big box stores. Whether it be Target, Costco or land developers, their focus is far beyond the boundaries of St. Albert and it is silly of the city and council to not recognize this.
It is my opinion that the Capital Region Board is becoming too arrogant and aggressive in deciding what all should be. It is my concern that the taxpayers of St. Albert are paying for many things they should not. A city of 60,000 should not be paying for highway development, LRT systems or regional services.
The Capital region has announced takeover of land all the way through Leduc and Beaumont, unbeknownst to many in between. I am not certain that St. Albert and Sturgeon will not be next.
Shelley Biermanski, St. Albert