Beaconsfielders refuse tax increase for sound barrier

François Lemieux
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Eighty per cent of residents say no to local improvement tax

Lawyer Jeremy Bolger making a case that the cost of the sound barrier south of Highway 20 should be shared by all citizens, not just the ones living close to the highway. Photo by François Lemieux.

Beaconsfield Mayor David Pollock reported last Monday that residents overwhelmingly rejected the local improvement loan by-law for a sound barrier south of highway 20 by 80 per cent. Fifty-four per cent of the population located in proximity to Highway 20 voted in the poll conducted by the city dated Sept. 28.

Many residents, while in dire need of a sound barrier, pointed out in letters to the city that the survey was based on flawed assumptions and incomplete information. Pollock promised to review with council the next steps towards a permanent solution to the problem of noise pollution from traffic.

During question period, lawyer Jeremy Bolger expressed disagreement with the cost sharing proposal presented in the survey. It was suggested the sound barrier project costs be shared by all residents and businesses, like the operation/maintenance of the arena complex, library and parks.

“Mr. mayor what you’re doing is pitting citizen against citizen. It is not a community undertaking. I’ve been living here since 1984. I have never gone for a swim at the pool. I have never gone on the skating rink so why should I be paying for the upkeep of it? There are road pavements, mine’s falling apart but there are streets all over this city that are being paved left and right. Some of these streets I’ve never driven on. That’s local improvement as far as I’m concerned. It depends on the definition of local improvement,” he said.

He added the sound barrier is something that would be a benefit to the community at large because it would make Beaconsfield a much more pleasant place to live.

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