Ottawa city councillors have spent themselves into a corner and one way or another, you’re going to pay.The problem is that the city can’t afford to properly maintain public assets such as roads and rinks. That’s because the two-per-cent tax increases councillors pride themselves on don’t provide enough money to fix what we already have and there is no more available because so much has been committed to transit expansion.
The city should be spending $224 million a year to maintain its assets, staff say. In reality, it spends $70 million less. That’s a big gap to close, and the experience of the last five years has been daunting. Council has pushed the maintenance budget up by $51 million a year, but most of that money has been eaten up by rising costs. The gap between what the city spends and what it should spend has decreased by only $20 million.http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/denley-apparently-the-city-cant-afford-to-maintain-roads-and-rinks-heres-why