Letter: Is the Municipality Now a Bank?

 

Dear Editor,

When did the municipal government’s role change to become a bank for private business? I ask this question in opposition to Township Council voting to grant the Morrisburg BIA a loan “up to $12,000” towards an electronic sign.

From my understanding, the Morrisburg BIA represents the businesses in Morrisburg who are only physically located in the village plaza, and is funded through a fee on their annual property taxes. 

That fee pays for marketing, upkeep, improvements, and such for the plaza. This BIA only represents businesses who are physically located in the plaza and does not allow non-plaza businesses located in Morrisburg or South Dundas to join.

If the Morrisburg plaza BIA wants to put up an electronic sign that costs $21,000, and they need a loan for "up to $12,000" to help pay for it, why does the BIA not go to its members? The BIA’s website claims there are 48 businesses in the plaza, which would amount to a contribution of $250 per business towards this sign. The sign would be paid for in full and South Dundas taxpayers would not be loaning the money to private business.

A loan for $12,000 may not seem like a big amount of money, however the township directly loaning money from the taxpayers for a business improvement project benefiting private business is a bad precedent to set.

Now that they have done it once, what is stopping every other business group in the township from holding their hand out to municipal council when they need to borrow?

Council should rethink granting this loan and encourage the BIA to go to its members. If the members are not willing to pay more towards the sign, then maybe the BIA doesn’t really need the electronic sign.

Or the BIA could just do what the rest of us do when we want to spruce up our humble abodes, borrow from a bank or save up your money.

Phillip Blancher

 

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