Mailbox: On the financial side of Bowen Island…

Dear Alex,

I read with great interest the letter of April 28 undercurrent by Tarrnie Williams entitled “Let’s not build bigger now” on page A5.

With interest rates currently skyrocketing, building materials at an all-time high with no end in sight in the near term, and many Bowen dealers still struggling with low sales volumes over the past two years due of Covid, I wholeheartedly endorse Mr. Williams’ thesis.

Stopping the construction of the community center (which is not yet fully funded anyway) would not be a disaster as it has been significantly under budgeted and we are filling a funding gap through taxation… what if we waited a few years to restore business volumes, people’s confidence, look for additional funds for the community center and wait for inflation to subside [and most likely retract]everyone would be better off.

Councilors who support this idea should be commended, not criticized, as they attempt to balance a variety of competing “needs”.

I really don’t see a major downside to delaying the community center project until we can afford it, and therefore allowing council to reduce the significant percentage increase in property taxes that will affect residential occupiers and commercial.

Now is the time to be a little careful in my opinion and live within our means…not just SPEND and therefore be forced to fall back on a significant increase in our property taxes that most people, especially small businesses, can’t afford.

Also, the health center has already reached 3/4 of its $8 million goal, and in my opinion, it is a higher priority than the community center at this time. Bowen Island has such a small financial base to raise funds, so having the two big projects compete for fundraising at this point is going to hurt both projects.

If the community center project were delayed for 18 months, it would allow the health center to continue its fundraising efforts to move forward towards success. After that, the community center project could later reduce its reliance on all property taxpayers to fund any shortfall in their project. Likely as costs escalate, reinflation will decline somewhat over time, due to a slowdown in the economy that most economists predict.

Best regards,

-Ken Hallat