Mayor Kevin Murdoch claims council over his term has “reduced Oak Bay’s infrastructure deficit gap.” (It was $460 million in 2021.)
His conclusion is not correct for the following reasons. In the last four years, inflation has increased significantly. Our lender, the Municipality Finance Authority of BC’s interest rate for a 20-year term was 1.28 per cent in the spring of 2020, and today the rate is 4.30 per cent. The borrowing rate has increased by 336 per cent in two years.
It is unlikely the federal or B.C. governments will soon be providing significant funds to municipalities for infrastructural renewal. The hiring market for the needed personnel has become very tight. Evidence of increasing wear and tear on our infrastructure, including our potholed roads, is clear to all.
Finally, Oak Bay does not have a viable 10-year action implementation plan, including costing, rebuild steps, and budget implications. Oak Bay’s “infrastructure deficit” is worse than at the beginning of the mayor’s term.
If the elected 2022 council members do not move quickly, Oak Bay is looking down the gun barrel of amalgamation.