Comment 32202

By M. Desnoyers (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2009 at 08:26:00

Balance,

In point of fact, averaged over the years since the agreement was signed in 1996, the City of Hamilton has been investing at the rate of approximately $2.3M per year. These are the investments that we know of and do not include things like road upgrades etc. that were paid for by the City or the province. There has been numerous investments by the Federal government as well for things like the ILS system and most recently the Fire and Safety equipment. All necessary things but still from the taxpayers purse. Since the mid 80's there has been over $100M taxpayer dollars invested in HIA and who knows where it will end.

You are absolutely correct that infrastructure improvements at the airport will result in higher tax revenue for the city but we will never realize a true return on the investment if we keep investing more each year then we get back! Despite what we as taxpayers have been repeatedly told, the proposed AEGD is going to cost taxpayers 10's if not 100's of millions of taxpayer "involvement". Is this the right use for the very limted financial resources the city has?

I also believe like you that the industry (airline) will continue to evolve but it will be hugely different than what it is today and will small regional airports like Hamilton survive? There is enough evidence today, post the $140 price per barrel of oil that it will not.

Twenty years from now if HIA is immensley successful and Hamilton is prospering because of this economic engine then I will likely have faded away into the background and people will probably not pay attention to me. If however, it doesn't survive and we have sunk the full weight of our economic resources into "our #1 economic priority", who will be held accountable?

I guess until then we will keep asking the questions to see if we can get any answers!

Michael Desnoyers
Co-Chair
HPD

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