Posted March 9, 2015
In a letter in the Mercury the writer bemoaned the development of big box stores in Guelph.
The basic argument was that small businesses provide jobs as well as the big boxes.
The writer criticized the mayor for supporting the impending Lowes building services company setting up shop near the new Costco outlet.
Didn’t we settle this issue about nine years ago when the council approved the Wal-Mart store on Woodlawn Road? The result was an expansion of the store to a Super Centre with food added to the mix and a steady clientele. Also there were the taxes paid by the company of more than $650,000 annually.
Mayor Guthrie understands that the city badly needs commercial and industrial development to reduce the property tax pressure on residential and small businesses. In eight years the ratio of commercial/industrial assessment has stuck at 16 per cent of the total assessment in Guelph. That leaves 84 per cent for residential properties.
It is encouraging to see the mayor reacting this way. He is on track and hopefully will be supported by council to bring balance to the property assessments in the city in the future to a 60/40 ratio, 60 per cent being residential and 40 per cent industrial/commercial.
Not only will this strategy enhance revenues but create jobs. But it’s a long-term exercise. This first step is just the beginning of achieving the goal.
Guelph is no longer a small town but there is an activist element in the city that wants to keep it that way. Such idealism is misplaced and now lost in the sands of time.
We’re growing up.