June 10, 2013.
Dear Councillor Burke and Councillor Shore,
Re: General Committee: Stormwater Rate Study, Final Report Funding Option (5.0),
On behalf of the Bayview Glen Residents Association, I wish to raise a concern with the Stormwater Funding report to be presented to General Committee on Monday, June 10th.
The Bayview Glen Residents Association supports the recommendations of the report, however, cannot support item number five (5), which recommends that the Canada Gas Tax Fund be removed from consideration as an a potential funding source to offset stormwater funding costs.
The purpose and intent of the Canada Gas Tax Fund is meant to assist municipalities in meeting the challenge of a growing infrastructure funding gap.
In 2008, a joint municipal and provincial study identified that within a ten year period, Ontario municipalities will experience a $60 billion infrastructure investment funding gap (Source: The Province-Municipal Fiscal Service Review, PMFSDR, 2008).
Many Ontario municipalities have utilized the federal Gas Tax Fund to cover the cost of stormwater infrastructure projects otherwise not possible through current funding methods.
The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), in a 2011 Gas Tax Expenditure Report, identified 42 federally funded municipal wastewater projects (of which stormwater is included); of the 42 Gas Tax funded wastewater projects, over half of the projects, 27 projects in all, were stormwater infrastructure projects.
Any consideration by Council to endorse the recommendation to remove Gas Tax Funding from inclusion as part of the long term stormwater funding strategy would not be consistent with the manner in which Ontario municipalities have utilized the federal Gas Tax Fund nor do we believe is consistent with the overall intent and purpose of the federal Fund.
Prior to any decision as to allocation of the federal Gas Tax Fund beyond 2014 , a full review of the City’s priorities and justification of the manner in which the federal Gas Tax fund will be allocated would be warranted.
Toinette Bezant, on behalf of the Bayview Glen Residents Association
cc: Thornhill Stormwater Liaison Committee