2 May 2013
If the municipality was to change the way it’s growing to focus more on liveable communities in the urban area, it could save up to $2.86 billion over the next 18 years. That’s a savings of $963 per year per household at the current number of residents. That would be like giving everyone free access to recreation services every year for nearly two decades.
The study by Stantec Consulting Quantifying the Costs and Benefits to HRM, Residents and the Environment of Alternative Growth Scenarios was posted yesterday on HRM’s website. It details how by changing the growth targets from 25% urban, 50% suburban, and 25% rural to 50% urban, 30% suburban, and 20% rural, the municipality could achieve huge savings.
The study also looked into how much the municipality would save if it met the targets it had committed to in the 2006 Regional Municipal Planning Strategy. If those targets were actually met, the municipality would save $684 million over the life of the plan.
“It’s astonishing that the study isn’t getting more attention”, says Jen Powley, coordinator of the Our HRM Alliance. “Why are councilors not clamoring to save the taxpayer the expense of future expansion?”
The Our HRM Alliance has been working steadily for the past two years to ensure that the first five year review of the municipality’s “master plan”, the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy, is strengthened to ensure sustainable development, fiscally, environmentally, and socially. To this point, a review of the current growth targets, which are not being met, has been declared outside the scope of the review. The study was commissioned by the municipality, yet the review has not looked at modifying growth patterns.
For further comments, please contact Jen Powley at (902)478-4769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The study can be found here: http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/documents/HRMGrowthScenariosFinalReportA...