So, here we go again, the City of Peterborough is after more land and they only want it on their terms or at least that is how it looks. After 25 years of trying to make a deal with Cavan-Monaghan they can’t accept a deal that their own staff agreed to. Now, some councillors want to begin talks with other townships to see if they can find a “better” deal. Well, I was part of the last better deal that the city negotiated. Let me say that it is not a good deal for the poor home owner who happens to live in the area being taken. In 1997, the city struck a deal with Otonabee Township for over 1,000 acres in the Coldsprings area. This was supposed to be the next big housing area. Guess what, almost 30 years later not one single house has gone up in the area that was absorbed. I saw preliminary plans for a huge subdivision with over 600 houses, some commercial space and even a new school. Nothing has happened and now they want more land?
As a property owner in that area at the time, we were told that we would eventually be given city services, water and sewer and all the perks that come with being in the city. Well, all the newly annexed residents actually got was a huge increase in their tax bill and not one single thing to show for it. When I went to council to complain, the only benefit that they could guarantee was city fire services. Hardly a benefit when the township fire hall was a stone’s throw away from us.
That annexation was done in two phases, part one happening in 1998 and part two in 2008. Once part of the city, we were faced with tax increases of 25% a year over 4 years to bring us up to city rates. If we had remained in our home there, we would have paid over $1000 a year more for absolutely nothing.
If the city comes a calling looking for more land, I hope the Townships tell them to use what they already have before they try to take more that they won’t use for the next 30 years.
W. Craft, Millbrook