‘Grandiose’ regional district plans need a rethink

Debate over Thornhill raging in Terrace and Thornhill - but what about the rest of the Kitimat Stikine Regional District?

Dear Sir:

The age old question of what Thornhill should do has again caused a lot of debate not only within the community of Thornhill but also across the river in Terrace.

The proponents on both sides have indicated that they all have many questions regarding the feasibility of either option.

The question I have is what effect will amalgamation or incorporation have on the rest of the regional district’s residents.

The regional district, by its own admission, indicates that Thornhill has the largest concentration of population under its control.

This also means that Thornhill has the largest concentrated tax base within the region.

What will happen to the services and programs in the rest of the region with that tax base now not available to the regional district. They currently provide around 40 different programs and services throughout the region.

There is no way the level of services could be maintained without this tax base.

This raises another question – what services or programs will be reduced or discontinued or will the regional district simply raise taxes on the remaining district residences in the district?

The tax increase would have to be massive and the residents would be unable to support it.

I am curious why we have not heard from the regional district as this issue will have a massive impact on their day-to-day operations.

How many district staff will lose their jobs? Will the trustee from the Thornhill region be necessary?

Terrace and Thornhill are both set to have a study prepared to identify which option is best. I would suggest that a list of questions be developed prior to the study being started.

This will ensure that we have all the answers so that an educated decision can be made. I think all parties should be allowed to have input with the questions. A three-person committee could solicit input from their respective areas and develop this list.

I have no opinion on this issue at the moment as there are more questions than answers. The regional district must take pause from its grandiose schemes of tax grabs for projects that could not be covered with the loss of this tax base.

How can you continue long-term planning without knowing what finances you have to work with?

The regional district is concerned with the amount of seepage from a failed or poorly designed septic system.

Their solution is to borrow millions of dollars to install miles of sewer pipelines to collect the sewage from all residences and then significantly raise the taxes of all residences at the lake.

Why should responsible home owners who have built and maintained their systems incur significant tax increases because some or our neighbours simply don’t care what harm they cause?

The only fair way to handle this is to identify the septic systems that have failed and order them to be brought up to code.

If the homeowner refuses to comply, then the systems should be dismantled. I vote ‘no’ to the regional district’s current plans for the Lakelse area.

Greg Misener,

Lakelse Lake, B.C.