If true, then Kitchener and Waterloo city councils are going to have to come up with tens of millions of dollars to pay to repair the infrastructure damaged by LRT construction: moving hydro polls and lamp posts, replacing curbs and sidewalks, repaving torn-up sections of road.
Just to be clear: this is a bombshell. If true, it means that severely strained municipal budgets will be stretched past the limit.
In addition, there is a second possible set of costs to the municipalities (and this might affect Cambridge as well): What will the Region do if there are cost overruns? The provincial and regional governments have agreed to pay 2/3 the cost of LRT to a limit. We pay the other third of the budgeted cost and we pay all cost overruns. If LRT goes a few hundred million dollars over-budget (which is not uncommon), where will the region get the extra money from? Will they guarantee that they won't demand more from lower tier governments?
When people talk of the cost of LRT, they mostly talk about tax increases. It goes beyond that. It also means cuts to lots of other municipal services: the libraries, arts funding, parks maintenance, road repair, snow removal, on and on and on. We in Waterloo are already cut to the bone because of RIM Park.
I'm throwing this out there, and if anyone has evidence one way or the other, I'd like to hear it. It is not responsible to proceed with LRT if there are any uncertainties of this magnitude.
Update: I have received confirmation that this downloading of capital costs is indeed the plan. And there's more - apparently the region also intends for Kitchener and Waterloo to build parking garages for some of the stations.