As the town of Erin looks to grow and develop into the new millenium it should look to do so sustainably. Recently there has been much discussion as to the best way to seek out and obtain sustainable growth for our residents. The desire to grow the town has resulted in a number of important issues coming to the forefront including housing developments, taxes, costs and sewage systems.
Recently, a plan has been put forward to move the town towards a centralized waste-water management system to not only update our current infrastructure, but also provide the necessary support systems so that new Solmar housing development can be built.
The issue has raised a number of concerns, and it is important citizens of this town have the ability to make their voices and concerns heard.
The 4 primary areas of concern for this coalition are as follows:
1. Fiscal responsibility – A major concern is that plans to implement a new housing development and centralized waste-water system have not adequately considered the fiscal implications for the town. The high costs of this system and its supporting infrastructure would likely require significant increases in tax rates, and possibly increased budget deficits. The fiscal state of the town is already in poor condition at best, so is it in our best interest today to add to these debts? Is this the situation we want to leave our children?
2. Infrastructure – . The planned growth of the town will require new schools, churches, police and fire services, community/recreational centres and doctors offices, but where will the town get the funds to do so? Even if the planned housing development reach full occupancy, which in today’s economy is never a guarantee, it will take a significant amount of time for the town to recoup and substancial taxes to offset the significant costs. This type of growth would also require a centralized waste-water management facility. The construction of this type of facility has high costs and requires long periods of time to complete, and would would require streets and businesses to severely impacted. .
4. Social impact – Should the town move forward with proposed plans for growth it could change the social identity of the town. Higher populations will require more roadways, in order to prevent further traffic issues in the towns core. This issue was raised in the past with the proposed Erin By-pass and was rejected as it was felt that doing so would hurt local businesses and kill the identity of the town. These proposed growth plans will have much of the same effect on our small town identity. As the town grows into a more highly densely populated area it also runs the risk of attracting big box stores to meed demand of a typical suburban area. This would hurt the identity that small independent businesses bring to Erin. This issue has been raised in many other municipalities who have undergone similar expansion
5. Environmental Impact – The implementation of a centralized waste-water managment system raise a number of environmental concerns including water contamination and air pollutants. These is also the risk that such a system could cause unpleasant odors to those who consume the air.