Now that we’re at the beginning of another year, it’s worthwhile taking a look back at some of the civic events of 2008.

One that comes immediately to mind was the announcement that because we hadn’t maintained our infrastructure adequately during the last decade, the city needed a gazillion dollars to bring it up to snuff, and that was going to result in double-digit tax increases for at least the next decade.

This demand from the city’s administration resulted in shock and horror on the part of the mayor and councillors.

Like the fiscal superheroes they are, they were galvanized into action. They huffed and puffed and blew the unreasonable tax request down.

Then they did their usual budget song and dance designed to make a seven per cent tax increase seem like a blessing come from heaven and firmly placed themselves on the side of the angels.

But what happened all those infrastructure problems?

Did they just go away?

Did the guardian angel of road and building maintenance come in the night and fix everything?
I suspect not. I think those infrastructure problems are still waiting to be addressed. And that’s why what’s happening on the south side of the city seems all the more strange.

If you’ve been out in the Ellerslie Crossing area recently, you’ll be quite aware that the architects of urban mediocrity have continued to vomit their ticky-tacky houses onto the landscape.

All those single family homes and townhouses will have to be serviced.

That means all the cars that go along with those homes will need roads for ingress and egress.
They will also require access to the concrete orgasms of the Anthony Henday and the interchange at South Edmonton Common as well as the downtown.

They will have to have power and gas supplied to them.

And they will require new sanitary sewer and drainage connections.
Let’s play a little game. What is your answer to this question?

What does one call roads, bridges and all that sort of stuff? Tick, tock, tick, tock ... That’s right my friends. The answer is infrastructure.

But how can that be?

Are you saying that those things are the very same kinds of infrastructure that we can’t maintain right now without huge tax increases? Oh my, oh my, would that it were not so, but you’re right on the money.
Edmonton, we have a problem.

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