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LETTER: Debt clock would be helpful on Town website

Editor: Having been faced with ever-increasing taxes and fees, I always wanted to know in more detail about the financial state the Town is in. This is inasmuch more after the Cougar Creek debris retention dam cost overrun of nearly $30 million, and

Editor:

Having been faced with ever-increasing taxes and fees, I always wanted to know in more detail about the financial state the Town is in. This is inasmuch more after the Cougar Creek debris retention dam cost overrun of nearly $30 million, and that is only to date.

Over the years, I had repeatedly proposed to have a debt clock on the Town’s website showing the debt, debt servicing and interest in real-time as a graph, and all councillors and Town officials I talked to paid lip service, saying they felt this was a good idea. But, unsurprisingly, nothing ever happened.

In order to put the debt into perspective the debt limit, as established in the Municipal Government Act, may also be shown, which is 1.5 times the revenue from its most recent audited financial statement and the debt service limit is 0.25 times that same figure.

Nevertheless, debt is debt and has to be repaid with interest.
So, when the Town’s website was under re-development, I submitted this proposal to the re-designing team. The Town acknowledged receipt of my proposal and promised to take it into consideration. After a series of email exchanges and reminders the Town finally advised they considered the comment but would not be including a real-time debt clock on the new website since I was the only one who made a request for that feature.

This makes me wonder, am I really the only ratepayer interested in the financial state of the Town? Secondly, what were the Town's criteria to include and or not to include any features, in re-designing their new website?

Dieter Remppel,

Canmore