Royston taxpayers really getting hosed

Dear editor,

Upon receiving a Comox Valley Regional District announcement, I assume that I have some say.

Dear editor,

Re: Royston Waterfront Trail.

Upon receiving a Comox Valley Regional District announcement by mail late in October I assume that I have some say even though I was informed a week after the event.

A reply to my three comments and three questions would be welcome.

1. Upon seeking maps, I found Hilton Road but no map of Lince or Chinook Road so am in the dark as to the affected area. A map highlighting these map references would help.

2. After reviewing one page, there is a statement referring to ‘green’ guiding principles; “minimize or reduce pollutants to the marine environment.”

3. The statement is in direct reference to the trail, the cost, the impact of anticipated funding to the taxpayer and the holy grail of ‘green principles.’

I have resided on Forde Avenue in Royston since 1989 and am amazed at the continuous assault on the taxpayer for more and more public funds, yet throughout those 23 years the only service updated was the water meters and the residents paid for that through fees. To this day, there is no pavement, no curbs, no storm sewers, and most of all no sanitation system, yet the onslaught of increased fees and taxes never ends.

An example; I am temporarily residing in Stony Plain, Alta., a community in which I pay taxes equivalent to those that I now pay or applied in Royston — the difference is that my present street is paved and curbed with storm and sanitation sewers. Wide and well-lit streets along with paved bike and walking trails exceed by a factor of 20 those found in Royston, and, I might add that every trail is mowed and pruned weekly.

This leads me to ask the first question: Why is the CVRD so long on taxation and so short on amenities? The second question on amenities; is sewage not a priority service when the harbour and Baynes Sound is being polluted daily by dysfunctional septic systems that CVRD seems to ignore yet focuses on ‘looking good’ rather than pursuing a sewage solution?

There is a third question as to the cost of living in Royston; In the past five to 10 years, the CVRD continues to allow maximum houses on small lots, driving up the density [and taxes] with a huge effect on the environment including bed and breakfast services impacting on amenities, yet the CVRD does not and will not balance the equation of taking taxes and providing services. Why not?

Why does the CVRD continue to allow density on the Royston shorefront. Is the collection of taxes for providing services like a sewer system or is the ‘trail’ just a shill to pull in tourists?

The bottom line is that the average owner is and has been forced to spend up to a capital outlay of $25,000 to install and/or replace the septic system, which says nothing of failed upkeep and/or the pollution of ground water throughout the shoreline.

That bottom line has now been reduced to the obvious; Royston taxpayers are not only funding the tourist industry; they are also forced to provide their own amenities without any provision of funding from the enforced tax rolls applied by the CVRD. Our government (local or provincial) should get down to serving Royston with needed services rather than trails to walk the dog.

To conclude; there is a smell to all of this — and not from sewage alone!

Mel Garden,

Royston

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