Taxation and services go hand-in-hand

A response to a Letter to the Editor that was printed in the Sept. 29 edition of the Trail Times.

Following the somewhat nasty letter Ms. Rodlie sent to the “Letters to the Editor” section of the Trail Times (“Community service costs should be shared,” Trail Times Sept. 29) regarding my earlier letter about taxation for the new pipe bridge (“Pipe bridge fees tied to Trail property values not fair,” Trail Times, Sept. 25) I feel I need a rebuttal.

Firstly let’s clarify a few points. Yes we did join the City of Trail for water services. There were actually four options available to us.

1. Keep the existing water system and run it as a community water system similar to what Genelle has

2. Let the RDKB take it over

3. Join the City of Trail

4. Install our own personal wells.

Following some negotiations, and with cost estimates provided by an engineering firm hired by the City of Trail, the citizens of the Waneta area voted to join the city, which at the time with the city looking to extend its boundaries, seemed like a logical fit.

The terms of this agreement included the fact that the property owners in the Waneta area that would be connected to the water system were responsible for the entire costs. The city would not be helping us by taxation or any other method, pay for the new water system. Also it was made very clear to us that sewer services were not part of the deal and wouldn’t be unless the city chose to extend those services to our area.

Pretty archaic way of thinking on the city’s part, hey Lana, not including all the residents in all the services available in the city and sharing the costs.

With the rules in place we have lived on as part of the City of Trail now for 15 years.

Suddenly a major development in Trail. The old bridge is condemned and a new “pipe bridge” is needed for sewer services. Note the words “pipe bridge”.

As we are already exempted from sewer services it is natural to assume we won’t be included in costing for the sewer line and the structure needed to support it.

Personally I believe it is fair to pay my share for the walkway section, it is a part of the city that has equal access just like the parks, arena complex, swimming pool, and so on. All things I am already paying taxes for.

Also I have no problems with school taxes or any others as inferred by Ms. Rodlie.  Interesting though, although she feels “that it makes a better community and benefits all of us when we share”  I am willing to bet she has never gone to the City Hall and demand that she pay her share of taxes to help support the people in Waneta that are still paying for their water services over and above everyone else in the city and will be for many more years to come.

My first letter was maybe poorly written as Ms. Rodlie didn’t seem to get the point about flat rate versus assessed value and nowhere did I say I wouldn’t pay any taxes, but I do want clarification on the deal we have with the city going back to the water system install.

If we are expected to now pay for the new sewer line bridge which is for “sewer services” we should get those services provided to us.

When you already have all the services it is easy to criticize those that don’t.

Bob Wishneski

Trail