Will third crossing raise taxes?

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

As we told you earlier in the news — the cost of kingston’s third crossing has increased to 180 million dollars.
Staff say the city’s one-third share has been budgeted … and won’t cause an increase in taxes.
But one grassroots group called “No Third Crossing” isn’t convinced …. and has environmental concerns with the bridge as well.
Darryn Davis reports.

Even with the third crossing now estimated at 180 million dollars city staff say it won’t lead to a tax increase.
“That would not result in a new or dedicated tax increase that is already built into the city’s financial plans. ”
But there are skeptics… like Duncan McDowall, who’s with a citizens group that doesn’t want the bridge built.
“It has to be serviced the cost of it.
We’re very skeptical that it will be delivered on time and on budget.”
Cncerns shared by councillor Jm Nell.
He says consultations he’s had on his own point to a higher price tag of at least 200 million dollars.
And he fears taxpayers could end up paying more because the bridge will add costs to other municipal departments.
“To say that we can add infrastructure that will need plowing and maintenance and all kinds of other things but it’ll never cost the taxpayer isn’t accurate.”
Neill adds that even if the city can hold the line on taxes … it could mean less money for other projects.
“Things like trails, recreational areas, parks all kinds of other things will not be able to be funded.”
“McDowall says they also have environmental concerns, in a time when the focus is on reducing greenhouse emissions.
He doesn’t think a new bridge is going to encourage to get out of their vehicles.”
” You build a road and it will get congested so people say let’s build another road.
It is a cycle we should not get into in Kingston.”
Some of those environmental concerns may have been addressed in the preliminary bridge design… which includes room for pedestrians and cyclists.
City staff say the bridge also offers opportunities to improve bus service.
” It offers them some additional routes that can allow for the potential to combine the transit service out in the east end with some of the areas in the central and west end of the city.”
Councillors must weigh the pros and cons of the bridge… and are expected to make a decision in june on whether to build it.
Darryn Davis CKWS news Kingston

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