Letter to the editor 1, Aug. 14, 2014

Pine Lake loan by-law

Dear Editor,

In the very near future there will be a registration held concerning a by-law which, if passed, will allow the town of Hudson to spend up to $750,000 for repairs to the Pine Lake dam. It is possible that the advanced notice of the registration day will be to the minimum that is required by-law.

Therefore, all citizens who have an interest in this subject and wish to express the view that this action of council in the matter of Pine Lake is inappropriate, need to be vigilant and make themselves aware of the time and place of the registration. Some years ago the citizens of Hudson were hoodwinked by a registration process concerning loan by-laws for the building of the new fire hall. In that case, in terms of both the nature of communication and scheduling of the date, the minimums, as stipulated by law, were followed.

The result was that by a slim margin, approximately 385 registrants of 425 required, the town ended up with a fire hall that is over-built for the town’s needs and consequently carries high operational costs. Th e fact that the town did or did not need a new fire hall was not the issue - for surely a new facility was needed. The issue was, however, what design of building and at what cost, would meet the needs. In the current situation concerning Pine Lake, the citizens are being asked to approve the borrowing of funds to execute a project that is ill-defined.

At a minimum the town should determine the optimum solution, with an indicated cost estimation before requesting the adoption of a loan by-law. Whatever you position, whether you are a citizen in favour of re-damming the lake or not, it should be of interest to you to know what the proposed solution entails, what the expected life cycle of that solution is, and what other proposals have been considered along with the pros and cons of each. You may be a citizen that feels the town just should not be repairing the dam and spending town funds when more important infrastructure is in a shameful state of repair.

The current administration is now into its 10th month in office and it still has not provided forward financial projections for the next three to five years. The list of capital expense demands is extensive and this situation demands a rigorous plan which prioritizes those projects. The Pine Lake project must be considered in the context of all other demands on capital expense; by pursuing an individual project, like Pine Lake, we are falling into the ways of previous administrations which lacked solid financial planning.

Marcus Owen

Hudson

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