In September, the GSTA prepared and sent to council a discussion paper on the issue.
Our position is that the past and current policy towards our roads has already mortgaged our grandchildren’s future by leaving them with a roads infrastructure that has a $700 million deficit, and it’s growing every year.
We wanted council to do something about it, not just kick the can down the road, so to speak.
Another point Kett missed was that the $700 million deficit is for roads only. What about the condition of sewers, water lines, etc.?
We said that one type of bond works best when used to pay for an asset that generates revenue such as a sewer or water project. It’s called a revenue bond. The other type is used for roads or other infrastructure that doesn’t generate revenue specifically. It’s a general obligation bond.
So using a revenue bond for sewer and water infrastructure should leave more money from the operating budget for roads. The revenue bond is paid off from the fees generated from the new sewer or water line.
Bonds for roads are paid from general revenues, and the cost of these bonds could be equal to the amount of money currently allocated to the capital budget to continue patching the roads.
The bonds were not suggested as a magic pill to cure all things, but as one component in an overall plan to deal with the problems.
We are also aware that this is the public sector, not the private.
In the public, politicians are accountable to the people, and it is up to the people to make certain all funds raised, whether through taxes or bonds, are used for projects that deal with the infrastructure issues.
Greater Sudbury Taxpayers’ Association member