By Nora Maddocks, Creston
Dear Creston residents,
In the March 11 issue of the Creston Valley Advance, Councillor DeBoon wrote an article that included the subject of property assessment and property taxes paid by residents of Creston.
I would like to point out that there were a couple of glaring errors in his submission. Firstly, to compare Creston to Fernie, B.C., is a display of being uninformed. Fernie may be comparable in size to Creston, but that is the ONLY comparable. Why? Here are the answers.
Fernie is known worldwide as a “powder town,” mainly as a snow skiing, snowboarding mecca. It doubles in size in the six months of winter, with millionaires from across the world. The town is loaded with ski Lodges, ski condos, multi-million dollar homes for the rich and famous to use during the “snow season”.
Fernie is an amazing place to live with more amenities than a typical small town like Creston. Fernie boasts more than nine fashion boutiques, more than 10 big box stores (ie. Wal-Mart Supercentre, Canadian Tire, Super Stores, etc.). Millions of dollars are bought into Fernie in the “snow season.” How many millions of dollars are brought into Creston in the “snow season” and even for that matter in a normal summer season? Creston does not have the shopping which residents of Fernie have available to them to choose from.
As for the BC Assessment of our property, how many residents know how to appeal those assessments? How many seniors living in Creston understand that they can appeal their assessments? Further, how many seniors know how to go about appealing their assessments?
As far as getting our monies worth for the property taxes we pay, I might ask, when does the mayor and town councillors expect to start replacing some of the sewer and water piping that has existed for almost 50 years and more in various parts of town? They keep upping our “fees” and taxes for sewer and water, ONLY to use that money for such things as the fire hall, etc. Cannot help wondering if other accounts might be having their monies moved to finance other dreams?
What about road maintenance? Has anyone in the last two to three years driven on 16th Avenue, past the veterinarian and RCMP detachment? How about the condition of the roads to the entrance from either end, of the Independent Store and gas bar? The pavement that is left is nothing but holes and cracks and sunken sections, never mind the rest of the roads in town that seem to be forgotten.
Lastly, Councillor DeBoon’s comment that your $266,830 home would cost you $495,000 in Fernie is not fact. You can buy, if you can find it, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom, single-family home fully upgraded top and bottom, 3,568 sq. ft. with double garage for $495,000, totally equivalent to Creston and Creston does not have the amenities, nor the million-dollar snow season helping the economy and providing high wages for the residents as Fernie has to offer.
I suggest the residents of Creston start doing some homework about the cost of living in Creston and exactly what they are getting for their money. It is easy enough to do, go on the internet and compare your town to other small towns with no amenities to speak of and see what the differences are. It will truly be a learning experience.
I have taken the time to write this response because I love living in Creston and I am afraid that if our mayor and town councillors insist on their “free-spending flush pocket” ways that our town will eventually go bankrupt. Not a conspiracy theory, but fact. Any accountant will tell you that you cannot spend what you do not have. Someone will face the piper when it comes to payback, and that is usually the taxpayer who is left holding the bag.