Comment 50042

By M. Desnoyers (anonymous) | Posted October 21, 2010 at 13:57:31

As the individual who has been Co-Chair and representative of HPD since its inception in 2005, I can very confidently state that there has been more media coverage concerning the Pan Am stadium and the Tiger Cats in the past months than has been reported collectively about the aerotropoilis in the past five years.

If the city was truly interested in engaging the community then why were the CLC meetings always held in a remote location that was not accessible via public transit? The Spectator has done a dismal job covering the subject and virtually all City public meetings were very poorly attended.

The total cost to develop the first stage of the AEGD is $352 Million and that is fact. The breakdown provided by Capitalist above is essentially correct in that $42 Million is directly paid via the tax levy but there is a $185 Million shortfall in DC payments that must be covered by the tax levy until such time as the development occurs. Capitalist is also correct in that the city will fund this via a 20 year debenture at about 6% which means that in year 1 the taxpayers must fund another $15 Million. Theoretically, at some point in the future IF sufficient development has occurred we will have crossed a threshold where the DC's and tax revenues exceed the yearly costs and we will have reached the promised land. The huge "carrot" being dangled is the $60 Million in taxes which only occurs at full build out. The fundamental missing part of the equation is that the reports only tell one side of the story and essentially NO risk assessment has been conducted. What happens if the Airport doesn't grow as the WILD projections in the report predict? It hasn't performed up to previous projections and what will happen if Oil rises to $150.00/ barrel again. The reports presented by Dillon REPEATEDLY refer to the success of the aerotropolis being tied directly to the airport. If Capatalist has read the entire report he might have stated that as well.

I agree with Anonymous above - if you have only read the 74 page glossy staff report you have been duped. There are so many negative aspects of this industrial park and they are all conveyed in the reports but who is going to read all 2200 pages.

Here are a number of simple facts;

1) The AEGD lands can't possibly be competative because of the huge cost to service each acre and the added cost of the on-site stormwater containment. The "estimated" costs are $100,000 to $1,000,000 per acre depending on method used.

2) The success of the AEGD is tied to the airport which is predicted in the reports to grow to 5 Million passengers by 2021 which is 10 times more than current levels. This is supposed to happen during a period of uncertain economic conditions and rising oil prices.

3) Almost 70% of the land will be used to create approximately 50% of the projected jobs in warehousing and logistics.
Not exactly the prestige industral, hi-tech jobs promised!

4) The city is desperate and if the AEGD moves forward we can expect a consistent pattern of reduced DC's to attract any type of business to locate in the aerotropolis putting further burden on the taxpayer.

5) Over 300 acres hace been designated "Airport Reserve" and there will be constant pressure, as there has been, from Tradeport for the City to purchase lands outsied of the agreement - more taxpayer burden!

Lastly, the finances of the city are in terrible shape and we simply cannot afford another mega project based upon the premise - Build it and they will come!

M. Desnoyers
Co-Chair
HPD

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