How much will the PPU cost you?

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The current PPU, which we need to stop dead in its tracks, calls for massive infrastructure projects including the proposed widening of Chemin Ste. Marie. We’re talking millions of dollars. What is the exact figure? Who knows.

The city has refused to conduct an objective financial analysis with external auditors – instead they will do this analysis themselves. This is a classic example of putting the cart before the horse thinking. You find out how much it costs after you’ve implemented.

The more relevant question for our citizens is how much will our municipal taxes increase by? Again, the city is not providing any answers but we can look at other municipalities for some directional estimates. In Beaconsfield they are proposing to build a sound wall off highway 20. A very expensive proposition but far simpler than our PPU.

Beaconsfield held an information meeting at city hall, July 12, to find out whether citizens will support an initiative to build a concrete sound barrier along highway 20, from St. Charles boulevard to the Pointe Claire border.

“People agree that the solution is a sound wall,” Staddon said. He added that, because building one is so costly, “the city cannot and therefore will not pay for it.”

“So we have to work with the Quebec Ministry of Transport (MTQ), which has offered to pay 50 per cent of the cost,” he continued. “That means that we have to follow their rules.”

Based upon citizens’ response, Beaconsfield city council will consider implementing a local improvement tax this fall, to pay for the city’s share of the $4 million project.

Homeowners in the worst affected zones could wind up paying more than $50,000 each in taxes and interest, spread over several years. Beaconsfield project director André Gervais told The Suburban that the amount is per household and not based upon property value.

Source: The Suburban, by Robert Frank.

What we can expect is that the Province and the MTQ will pay the absolute minimum. We already have proof with the overpass debacle that they don’t have the money to repair or don’t want to pay for our infrastructure, even if the use of the overpass is shared with many municipalities.

So let’s brace ourselves for the worst if the PPU goes through. Expect to be hit a with a hefty tax bill to pay for this PPU – the costs of the infrastructure beyond the obligations of the developer (they aren’t going to pay for widening of existing roads) and the rise in the cost of services we don’t need and don’t want including additional public security. It won’t be the apartment dwellers who pay for this. And what will we gain? Nothing. Only the developer stands to benefit.

In fact our property values will go down by 30% or more due to 3 critical factors:  the destruction of desirable green spaces, the proximity of newly introduced cheap housing including condos, townhouses, and apartments, and finally increased competition from new starter homes will make it a buyers market.

Finally, expect the construction on Chemin Ste. Marie to go on for years and years, regardless of if they go ahead with the hair-brained (hare-brained) scheme of trying to widen a road that can’t be widened. Look how long the construction of one simple road took in downtown Ste. Anne’s. This will be a nightmare, we will be stuck in traffic and detours for the next decade.