Collier | Develop brownfields to attract business
This week, CBC Windsor's municipal affairs expert says Windsor should really look into developing its abandoned factories, empty lots and other neglected areas of the city.
The areas are called "brownfields" and leaving them as they are doesn't help attract people or business to the city, says Cheryl Collier.
Developing brownfields attracts businesses and attracts people, Collier says. Conversely, letting them just sit there is unattractive to new business and people. She admits, development always costs money.
Collier has studied every state of the city address since 2006. Mayor Eddie Francis was first elected in 2003.
She says Francis has talked "non-stop" about keeping taxes low and bringing jobs to Windsor but we're trending poorly.
In 2006 unemployment was seven per cent. It spiked to 13.8 per cent in 2009 and in December the city was at 10.5 per cent.
Eventually something has to give, Collier says. The trend points to the fact that low taxes aren't working. The city may have to start spending money to attract business.
So will the city consider raising taxes to turn the tables on urban blight and unemployment?
To hear Monday's piece, click on the audio box above.
Cheryl Collier is a professor of political science at the University of Windsor. She can be be heard on the Early Shift with Tony Doucette at 8:14 a.m. on Mondays. Tune in to 97.5 FM or listen live online at www.cbc.ca/windsor.