With our last unfortunate storm crisis involving extended power outages, let’s not lose sight of all the past months of community discussion on our potential purchase of a new $21 million generator.
No new generator would have prevented this latest situation. The problem did not start in Summerside. This massive disruption was in our energy supply system outside of the control of Summerside Electric, including problem with the N.B Power system itself.
Summerside pays $1 million a year for start-up power, and that's just what we got. To spend $21 million on a new generator, with borrowed money for 35 years, is absurd. The City of Charlottetown, four times larger than Summerside, is $100 million in debt. How could the City of Summerside, with a population of about 15,000-plus, be $68 million in debt, not counting the utilities at our electric plant. The mismanagement of this city goes back years. Promised ditch infilling was cancelled, the Pope Road project, a new facility for fire services, to mention a few, were all shelved. Why? The answer is no money.
Millions was wasted on the Griffin case of malicious persecution, the failed concert report, redacted Hopping Report (not released in its original form). This, folks, is all truth, and to this day the city has not admitted fault, including, no one ever being held accountable.
My advice would be for this new council to get the shelved items out in the open, deal with them, one way or another and move on.
Do not start 2019 with an added $21 million to the debt. There are many options involving green alternatives in this day and age. The Eco Park dreams ($2 million), still shows us the priority of this present council, is somewhat flawed.
I wish the new mayor and councillors with their new vision, all the best. As new mayor Basil Stewart said: "Down with taxes, electricity, water and sewer rates. Bring business and people downtown.