Infrastructure problems must be funded by taxes

as the mayor sees it with District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys - Infrastructure problems must be funded by taxes

A New Year brings with it a number of new challenges to be met, and decisions to be made. The District has a number of ongoing projects and a few new ones to get underway soon.

The condition of our local infrastructure is under review and discussion. There are a number of issues to be dealt with as various projects unfold. There are possible cost savings by linking together infrastructure rebuilds  that are needed.

For example, one of the main lines of the sewer will run down Barriere Town Road. We will have to dig the road up and cross the road in a number of places to connect other lines.

There is an old cement asbestos water line that runs down Barriere Town Road, and for all intents and purposes is at the end of its useful life. That water line is on the other side of the road from the sewer line.  There are definite cost savings to replace this line during sewer construction. Plus, Barriere Town Road could be constructed properly.

When I say Barriere Town Road could be constructed properly, I am referring to the opportunity while the sewer line is under construction to repair current and long standing issues, that include such things as:

• Drainage, or more appropriately referred to as non-drainage issues that have long plagued some intersections.

• Widen the road surface and include a separated path for pedestrians and motorized mobility aides, a.k.a. scooters. The separation would serve as the drainage swale for the road.

• Design and construct the road so that the current minefield of potholes and crumbling road edges can be eliminated. Again, the road surface is approaching time for replacement. We can patch it up during the sewer installation, but in all reality it will be just a patch job.

• Design proper intersections and designate parking in the appropriate areas.

None of this work is free, and it certainly is not cheap. I am not saying that it is. If this project was being done by private enterprise the decision could be to do it now, do it right, and save money over the long haul; or, to put the sewer in, patch the road, and ignore the water line and other issues. That decision would be based on the probability of a profit. The cost to borrow money now is as low as it has ever been, and from a business prospective the decision should be to do both projects in concert to leverage cost savings and efficiencies.

In business, the money to be used for projects belongs to a group of investors that have all agreed to spend money as their Board of Directors see fit. The money is theirs to spend. As investors they accept the risks of being in business.

For government bodies the same challenges are there, and they are expected to engage the issues based on good business practise. The problem is that the funding to meet these challenges comes from a very different source. The funding comes from taxes. Taxes that are paid by people that mostly feel they have little or no say as to how those taxes are set or spent. The taxpayer needs to feel engaged and consulted at all levels, not ripped off at every turn.

We all know nothing lasts forever. Once an essential infrastructure item is worn out, it needs to be replaced. The whole civilized world is struggling with failing infrastructure issues. The problems are costly and will not go away on their own.

We have a number of infrastructure problems right here in Barriere that need attention. Decisions will be made that cost money, your tax money. These decisions may be unpopular with some residents. Remember that the council members you have voted into office make their decisions based on sound business practises and what they feel is for the good of the whole community,  not what they think will get them elected next term. Correct thoughtful decisions are not always popular decisions.


Some politicians feel they must strive to be popular, and they lose sight of why they were elected. When this happens it is truly a sad situation.



Just Posted

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Four Paws Food Bank-Barriere helps area pet owners

Leia Kett (as in Star War’s Princess Leia) has been a Barriere… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

Most Read