Greeley calls for end of provincial money to non-taxpaying communities

Cory
Cory Hurley
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Mayor Neville has expressed concern to the provincial government covering the cost of snowclearing for towns set up in a local service district, while city residents have to pay for the service.

CORNER BROOK — The mayor of Corner Brook has asked the provincial government to stop funding services for local service districts and unincorporated communities.

During a pre-budget consultation in Corner Brook Monday, Neville Greeley said it is time the province “level the playing field” for taxpaying residents and municipalities. He also encouraged the provincial government to look at a cost-sharing type of set up to assist communities which provide regional services.

“Here on the west coast, we have a community literally 10 minutes outside Corner Brook where you have some properties valued at about a million dollars and they are not paying five cents in property tax and there is a business in the community that is not paying five cents in property tax or business tax,” he said to Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy.

“That’s all because they are set up in a local service district.”

The mayor said it is one thing to support neighbouring municipalities where people are paying taxes, but he takes particular exception to providing infrastructure and services to people living in local service districts and unincorporated areas. He said it is unfair to taxpaying residents of the province.

“That’s something we strongly encourage of your government — to level that playing field such that the provincial government is not paying to provide or maintain any other service to a local service district or an unincorporated area,” he said.

The mayor cited the example of provincial funding that is paid to the Town of Steady Brook for snowclearing operations to the local service district of Little Rapids.

When questioned by Kennedy as to what he meant by levelling the playing field, Greeley said they should be forced to get organized.

“What incentive is there for the people in Little Rapids, the people in Boom Siding, to get themselves organized if the provincial government is going to continue to plow their roads and pave their roads?” he said.

He also referred to the ongoing feud between the Town of Deer Lake and the unincorporated community of St. Judes over uncollected fees for garbage collection and firefighting services.

Greeley encouraged the provincial government to start exploring regional government type concepts for the sharing of services.

“Like here in the City of Corner Brook, all the operating costs for the Pepsi Centre, for all the sporting fields — baseball, softball, soccer — for all the entire region is borne by the taxpayers of Corner Brook,” he said. “And the taxpayers of Mount Moriah, Massey Drive, Hughes Brook, Steady Brook, anybody else from any other community that is using those fields, not five cents of their property tax goes toward covering any of those facilities.”

Organizations: Pepsi Centre

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Little Rapids, Mount Moriah Hughes Brook Steady Brook

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Recent comments

  • SusieQ
    February 27, 2013 - 18:45

    Residents from other towns do pay fees for services in Corner Brook. I pay to swim, skate,or for any other activity I care to take part in. Maybe Steady Brook should put up a gate and charge for all the people who want to ski.

  • ED
    February 25, 2013 - 12:09

    Mayor Greeley it's better to keep your mouth closed and have people think you're stupid than open it and remove all doubt

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    February 23, 2013 - 12:39

    Oh Neville, diplomacy was never one of your strong suits. However, there is something to be said regarding some of your ideas. The "free ride" has to end for many residents who pay no property taxes. Either communities should have to amalgamate and/or a fee for service to these communities for things such as snow clearing, road repair, etc.

  • Ed. Anstey
    February 22, 2013 - 09:38

    COMMON SENSE WAS NEVER MAYOR GREELEYS STRONG POINT. being an idiot is easier. the only thing we can hope for is that corner brook can last until we get the chance to vote him out.

  • Danny
    February 21, 2013 - 05:00

    and people actually voted him in as mayor WOW. he wants to close up his city and keep everyone out, he dont like anyone do he fireman, councilors,neighbours, corner brook dont need him he is harming your city believe me get rid of him. oh how i wish i could vote againist him. i should become a resident when hes gone

  • Duffy
    February 20, 2013 - 20:56

    Isn't he the guy that back-stabbed and double-crossed the Firemen in his own community ? What a guy!

    • Lee
      February 27, 2013 - 11:01

      The fireman shot themselves in the foot for demanding too much money for an over-staffed department. Neville handled the situation horribly, but the result was inevitable.

  • Scott
    February 20, 2013 - 16:22

    Mr. Greeey should not talk about other towns ,we live in the City of Corner Brook and we are charged City taxes and got to hire a tractor to plough a public access road no garbage collection and no service at all from Corner Brook

  • CBGirl
    February 20, 2013 - 15:12

    Wild. Greeley sounded like he was making a valid point, then he tries to justify with the last paragraph. Sounds like hes saying that Corner Brook residents should not pay fees to use those places, and others should pay up. Are we going to erect a gate at Margaret Bowater Park to stop the kids from across the bay from having access? How about a toll at Ballam Bridge so anyone entering the city pays for the joyful driving experience. I could see charging a town for fire services from another. Or charging massey drive for CB water service. How about telling us the $ amount of provincial money which is paying for unincorporated towns or LSDs?

  • haha
    February 20, 2013 - 14:50

    Greeley, You know the saying " If you don't have anything good to say don't say it at all". Your talking about snow clearing these communities like Little Rapids which only has 3 or 4 roads to clear at least when the snow melts they got good pavement. You should be worried about the thousands of holes here in Corner Brook roads try to avoid one and hit two. Also the athletic facilities it costs enough for memberships like for a summer a golf over 1200.00 for a membership what other fees you plan on putting there.....maybe some meters in the parking lot will help you out ..... i don't usually comment on these articles in the Western Star but do read a few BUT THIS ONE I HAD TO COMMENT...

  • chad
    February 20, 2013 - 14:08

    Well i guess the city should look at all the areas around spend money in the city to keep it going.Without them they would have very little money flowing.The city of cornerbrook collect enough money from people there to pay for what it needs.Also these other area do pay fees.Just dont be so wastefull.

  • CBD
    February 20, 2013 - 13:58

    Well JAC, Shawn, Too Funny, E. Parsons and Gerry Sams I also pay for the same things you talk about and refer to and still have to pay city taxes. If you are using city resources, or are expecting city or resources to be used in your favour than guess what .... pay city taxes. Its as simple as that!

    • wtf
      February 20, 2013 - 20:30

      That's Corner Brook logic. Claim to be the regional centre, demand that the province treat you as such but then b-tch about it when people come here. You belong on council. No wonder the town is dying.

  • Tony
    February 20, 2013 - 12:22

    Come on People he is not 100% wrong. Regarding sports facility's if its incorporated or not if the revenue is not there to up keep these facilities and programs put a user fee for all users. Regarding roads I think the writing is on the wall that in the near future the only roads that will be up kept up by the province will be the trans Canada and basic main through fares. You can't say wages because either your in a city or in the woods we all have to pay taxes on our wages, Gas, cloths, vehicles etc. What I got a problem with is when I have to fork out two gran a year to live in town and a mile or so away getting to same services they are getting away with a hundred dollars for garbage, another fifty or so for fire services and maybe a hundred or so for poll. Treat all hands fair.

  • Devil's Advocate
    February 20, 2013 - 11:10

    By the mayors logic, if somebody visited...let's say Montreal, then they should not be allowed to walk through Parc Jean-Drapeau just because they don't pay taxes there? WTF. I think the mayor is upset because Corner Brook can not afford to clear snow properly, or safely any more. Drive around town, especially on a Sunday when it is snowing, it is obvious they wait as long as possible to clear snow, to save money I would imagine. The city should focus on getting more help from the province and feds, not pointing fingers and whining about neighbors. After all it is one of the snowiest places in Canada. The small population in CB can not afford all these tax hikes on every level, and the mayor can not expect neighboring towns to pay for it either. I don't know but from the Corner Brook end I do not see a "Have" province.The roads were better in CB 20+ years ago, the snow clearing was better too.

  • Jack
    February 20, 2013 - 10:16

    In light of Mayor Greeley constantly blaming everyone else for Corner Brook's problems, and constantly making comments that are not a fact, I think that starting the 2017 Civic Elections, to ensure Corner Brook is runned by intelligent individuals looking after the city's best interest, the minimum requirements include a minimum of a Bachelor's degree or equivalent, demonstrated leadership experience and community recognition, and the position is open to anyone, not just Corner Brookers. In other words, someone from Gillams can run for Corner Brook's Mayor and take the position. That way, Corner Brook will no longer be administered from fools like Greeley whom don't think logically and have a grudge against entrepreneurs, especially the remarks about outsiders using athletic facilities in Corner Brook though athletic clubs and casual users already pay for it through user, membership, or club fees. Something for Mayor Greeley. Why should people from outside Corner Brook pay to use your athletic facilities like Pepsi Centre, Basha Field, or the Soccer Field when they are already paying for it? Keep in mind that these fees help pay for the operating costs.

  • Gerry Samms
    February 20, 2013 - 09:42

    I happen to live in an unincorporated area... however the government collects a large portion of my salary in taxes, I own my own sewage system , my own water system and I am responsible for the upkeep, on which the government collects taxes for any expenditure. I cannot call and complain to the city if my water or sewage does not work, it is a matter of fixing it at my cost... I am not eligible for any benefits from the government as I work out of the country, yet approximately half my wages goes out in taxes, more if you count consumer taxes as well.....I also pay my yearly garbage disposal fee as well as transport large items to the land fill at my expense. Mr Greeley, I think the snow clearing is not much to ask as a return on my money, As there is nothing else offered. The sports complex where I live is paid directly by the volunteers and users and the moneys we are able to raise on our own hard work without asking for handouts from the taxpayer !!!! I would think strongly about what you are voicing.

  • E.Parsons
    February 20, 2013 - 08:36

    Clearly, Mr. Greeley is misinformed about the financial structure of the Local Service District of Little Rapids. ALL property owners and businesses in the Local Service District area are charged service fees for the service that the community provides; garbage collection, fire protection, street lighting and a community/fire hall. Property owners are responsible for their own water supplies and sewage systems. Snowclearing is provided by the province for service roads (which are a provincial responsibility) and two biroads. All other biroads are snow cleared privately. Unlike incorporated municipalities, which receive yearly grants and cost shared capital works, the Local service district receives no other funding from the provincial government other than the snowclearing of two biroads.

  • Too Funny
    February 20, 2013 - 08:12

    That's funny because the main road in CB is plowed and maintained by the provincial government. Most of the money to build their new town hall came from outside CB and the provincial government is the biggest employer in CB. Does Greeley really want a level playing field?

    • just saying
      February 20, 2013 - 16:34

      what about paving the roads for the triathlon every year..got to keep the roads up for that but nevermind the roads here that could take the bottom of your car off..or even all those "outsiders" who come here and support this community..did you ever hear of hospitality. these are people who come go to a community and spend their money.."hospitality"..maybe you should have taken this course before you became mayor..

  • Shawn
    February 20, 2013 - 07:21

    One thing to be said about our Mayor, Neville Greeley, he never passes up the opportunity to entertain. Mr. Greeley hasn't been able to effectively manage his own community, let alone other communities. Hey Nev, get your own house in order before worrying about others.

  • Jac
    February 20, 2013 - 06:36

    Not only is Mayor Greeley being anti-entrepreneur, he now think he owns Western Newfoundland with his attitude against adjacent communities, especially athletic facilities. Let me tell you something Mr. Greeley. When residents from other towns use Baseball diamonds, Soccer fields, or Hockey arenas in Corner Brook, they are already paying a fee for it either directly or indirectly, including user and membership fees. Therefore Mr. Greeley, why should people in other towns pay to use Corner Brook's athletic facilities when they are already paying for it through entry, user, and membership fees? Mayor Greeley, stop being selfish for a change. Besides, I'll be glad when you're voted out in the upcoming Civic Elections so that Corner Brookers won't put up with your incompetent leadership anymore.