The transit busses have come to a screeching stop! Mayor Sohi and eight Edmonton city councillors voted to opt out of the Edmonton Transit Services Commission realizing that this project was not worth the millions of dollars that would have to be paid in phases. St. Albert Coun. Wes Broadhead has been pushing for this project for many years. St. Albert's 2023 portion of the loan would be in the area of $2,366,700.00 and 2024 would be even more! Now St. Albert, as well as other communities who stayed in this project, may be forced to pay out their financial obligations for pulling out — monies that could have been provided to many non-profit organizations in St. Albert who are now struggling to keep offering their valuable services. As a taxpayer, I would like to know into whose bank accounts these payments will be deposited!
The St. Albert Seniors Centre is one of these agencies who has had funding cuts, but is still trying to provide a great variety of programs such as physical fitness, social events, support services, healthy meals and social interaction with other members of the community. Our property taxes were increased to 5.8 per cent from 4.6 per cent in October to pay for the obligations to the ETSC. Taxpayers will see a 3.8 per cent utility rate increase, and a 5 per cent increase in electrical franchise fee, which all amount to a hefty increases for property owners!
In September, Council voted to rescind the approval for the 20.1 million dollar solar farm project realizing that the solar farm profits would not be near what was proposed. Now the ETSC has shown to be losing proposal. Hopefully St. Albert taxpayers will not have to worry about a third ridiculous proposition!
Sylvia Bilsky, St. Albert