Industrial park proposal has ripple effect

A response to the proposed change to relocate the Columbia Gardens Industrial Park into the City of Trail.

I read the information sheet distributed to Beaver Valley residents regarding the proposed change to relocate the Columbia Gardens Industrial Park into the City of Trail and the impacts that would have on some residents of area A and the Beaver Valley.

My first reaction was “no vote – no voice.” After some consideration I decided that you always have a voice and decided to put down some of my thoughts.

I feel that as a person who’s family has resided in the Beaver Valley since 1907, many who have worked at Teck, that I have a duty to speak up for the Beaver Valley and all those who reside here.

Who will benefit the most from this proposal and who will be hurt the most.  Over the many years that Teck has existed in the area their taxes and other contributions have helped a large area including many communities.  Teck’s employees live in many local communities including the Beaver Valley and Teck’s contributions have been two fold in that they have provided not only jobs but a way of life.

Is it right that one community should benefit from the tax relief provided by Teck or many?

The Beaver Valley supports a varied age group from very young to very old.  It has become a place that young people would like to raise their families and older individuals want to retire.

I feel part of the reason young families move to the Beaver Valley is that it is a quieter community that offers many services for them and their children. It  also provides this without high taxes and affordable recreation and educational programs.

Who would be hurt by higher taxes?

– Young families who are struggling to provide a home, educational growth and recreational activities for their children.

– Retired individuals who are on a fixed income, but still enjoy the benefits of programs provided in the area.

– Small store owners who in order to survive would have to pass any additional taxes on to their customers.

– The people who frequent local business, who then would be hit two fold as they would pay additional property taxes and then additional cost of purchasing items from local business.

Loss or reduction of services pertaining to recreation, economic and culture programs would have a profound effect on young and old in the Beaver Valley.

Fruitvale took on the burden on upgrading their own water system a number of years ago.  This was put to a vote and we the residents agreed to this proposal and voted for a tax increase to go forward with this project.

Trail’s residents would get a very small increase in their taxes for their water upgrade if the Columbia Gardens Industrial Park were to be incorporated into the City of Trail, and again the people of the Beaver Valley would bear the brunt and have to absorb what would have been Trail’s tax increase.

As a retired employee of 35 years at Teck, I enjoyed the knowledge that I would have a good job and that my employer was also aiding me in many ways through their tax contributions to the Beaver Valley. I would like to believe that Teck still feels that the larger distribution of their taxes through many communities and a greater number of their employees is important to them so that the quality of life in all those areas can be maintained.

Janice A. Grieve