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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta District The LetWnridge Herald Local news SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Monday, March 11, 1974 Pages 11-20 I Public service dwarfs local private employers A Special Report ByALSCARTH Herald Staff Writer The public service is by far Lethbndge's largest employer with schools handing out the biggest pay packet and hospitals providing the most jobs In view of economists' statements that payrolls multiply in value as they are spent, the importance of public institutions to the city is tremendous Reading a list of Lethbridge's top 10 employers, number seven is reached before private enterprise even enters the running. About public service employees in seven areas take home and dispose of about million each year in the Lethbridge region. Compared to that, about employees in 15 of the city's largest private concerns earn and dispose of about million annually. Lethbridge supposedly cannot exist on government alone. But the public service is necessary to foster other deve'opment. Says Carl Madden, an economist with the American Chamber of Commerce: "The relationship between industrial growth and general community development is a chicken and egg relationship you can't have one without the other while industrial growth stimulates the remainder of the local community, the prior existence of Shopping malls lead taxpayers One reason the city likes to attract new business is to collect taxes. Leading 10 of the top city taxpayers are the College Shopping Mall and Centre Village Mall. Their tax assessments of and respectively are by no means the largest in Lethbridge. At least, three .public institutions rollsphave considerably, grander assessments: The University of Lethbridge at the Lethbridge Community College at and the Lethbridge Municipal Hospital at But the taxpayers, carry a large portion of the city's tax load. In the past decade the commercial share of the load has decreased slightly. However, the industrial sector has more than picked up the slack. The result is that residential taxpayers now carry a smaller percentage of the tax burden than 10 years In 1962. residential taxpayers carried 66 per cent of the tax load, commercial properties 26.7 per cent and industrial concerns 7.3 per cent In 1973, residential taxpayers carried 64.9 per cent of the load, commercial properties 25 per cent and industrial concerns 10.1 per cent. The city's total taxable assessment for 1974 is The non-taxable assessment for such institutions as the university and churches is The following are the taxable assessments for 10 of the city's biggest taxpayers (Assessments can be obtained at city hall by anyone with a legitimate interest for a fee of per assessment, and free of charge for 30 days each January when the assessment rolls are open to the College Shopping Mall Centre Village Mall Palliser Distillers Holiday Village Safeway Sicks Lethbridge Brewery Eaton's Western Canadian Seed Processors Canadian Pacific Railways El Rancho Hotel Assessments are calculated on the following basis: 65 per cent of the land value in the last year of re-assessment which was 1969 and 45 per cent of the 1963 reproduction cost of the buildings- with its industrial diverse growth the community services makes possible." In Lethbridge, public servants constitute 20 per cent of a total work force approaching persons in 1971 according to federal census The two major school systems top the list for the biggest payroll. The combined payrolls are million annually million for 350 public system employees and million for 151 separate system employees. More people arrive for work at four city hospitals than anywhere else 490 to the municipal and auxiliary hospitals and the public Southland Nursing Home hospitals for a total payroll of million annually; and 356 to St. Michael's Hospital for an annual payroll of million. Total: 846 employees for an annual payroll of 7 million. Neither the provincial nor federal governments can tell you easily how many people they employ in the city. They don't keep track of their employees and payrolls that way. But of an estimated 700 federal employees, 290 are employed full-time at the research station on the eastern outskirts of the city. The total federal annual payroll has been estimated at about million. About 600 provincial government employees in the city can be accounted for through the Civil Servants Association of Alberta. The total provincial annual payroll has been estimated at about million. An impressive 250 people are employed part-time by the city government during the summer months. The full-time complement is about 500 employees. The annual payroll is million. The University of Lethbridge with 350 employees has the highest per capita average salary for major city employers. The institution's total annual payroll is million. The Lethbridge Community College employs 190 people full-time and 73 people part-time for a total annual of million. secWrpayroll the city million annually is divvied up among 300 employees of Wickes Canada Ltd. The firm manufacture's mobile homes and recreational vehicles. After public employers, the company ranks first of about 131 manufacturing firms located here in 1972, both in number of employees arid total payroll. Next comes Western Canadian Seed Processors Ltd. (see chart) whose importance to the city's economy is dealt with in another article. Other million dollar or million dollar plus payrolls include: Pre-Built Industries, GTE Automatic Electric, Canada Packers, Ducan Industries, Bendix Homes, Sicks Brewery, Safeway stores, Simpson Sears, Woolco, The Herald, Canadian Dressed Meats. Swift Canadian and Eaton's. What do jobs mean to city? A recent study by the American Chamber of Commerce calculated what 100 new factory workers mean to a town 68 more non manufacturing jobs, one more retail establishment, million more in personal income per year. more in bank deposits per year, more in retail sales per year, 351 more people, 97 more families and 79 more school children. A Canadian study carried out by Canadian National Railways on census figures from 1941 to 1961 calculated that 100 additional manufacturing workers meant the following to a community 49 more non manufacturing jobs. more in retail sales annually. 479 more people. 113 more households and 123 more school children. Experts say planning must be used carefully to bring the city through a critical stage in its growth. Critical stage Long-term planning may prevent Lethbridge 'suffering' ke _atomic power, economic nstoacan reach a "critical" stale [eref'tremendous power can be controlled or go out of control. Allowed to run out of control, explosive expansion can blight a city. Yet Lethbridge must attract new employers at least at a rate sufficient to provide about 750 new jobs annually. That figure comes from the city's economic development officer and is termed "very conservative" by some economists at the University of Lethbridge. Bahir Bilgin, chairman of the university's .department of economics, believes the city is at such a "critical" stage of development. "Lethbridge must be very selective, must not repeat the mistakes of bigger towns, must not be a little Dr. Bilgin warns. "The only reason 1 like Calgary is that it's close to Banff. It has been growing without a concern for quality, then later worrying what to do about it. It just doesn't make sense. "Lethbridge is in many ways very well planned and so far very peaceful looking." Adds Takashi Ohki, a specialist 'in consumer economics: "Lethbridge has been enjoying the advantages of relatively slow growth but has reached a critical stage. "So far we -haven't suffered but we may unless the city concentrates on long-term planning. We may have a downtown Calgary with skyrocketing rents. "Lethbridge is a horizontal city a vertical city so often prevents people from meeting because we really only talk on the road, the horizontal. "People stay here longer and have things they care about. This city has been very well taken care of because people have lived here long enough to have a stake in things." Mr. Ohki says. Adds Dr. Bilgin: "We know the world's business minute to minute but nothing of our neighbors next door." Growth for growth's sake is no longer valid and the Gross. National Product no longer the Godjt once was. "Any activity should be social centred, not just intended to increase output or he says. The economists argue for more cultural and social activities to keep the young people who are pouring out of the city's educational institutes at home. Dr. Bilgin says it is inevitable that a city lose some of its young and their youthful talents, but that "much remains to be done" to keep them here. "Lethbridge bears the cost but people go to other areas which- take the benefits." What is the city doing about the youth drain17 "More and more young people are not only staying here, they are coming says Dennis O'Connell, the city's economic development officer. "My feeling is that the community has placed more emphasis on those things that make living a worthwhile and fulfilling experience than most.. There is a broad spectrum of activities and facilities that are unusual in a community of this size." Mr. O'Connell sees his job as breaking down into two parts provision of jobs and a broadening of the tax base to provide facilities which help make life a fulfilling experience. Mr. O'Connell says he is convinced the reason for economic development is to provide jobs and means to enjoy life to the fullest He believes Calgary and Edmonton grew too quickly and that Lethbridge must take advantage of its almost ideal, or at least manageable, rate of growth of two to three per cent annually. He says that a breakdown of tax assessments indicates the city is The new alchemy growing in a balanced manner, adding the explanation that, "There is no sense introducing industries without places to live in Effect multiplied when money spent From an economist's point of view, the spending of a payroll creates new money from old. University of Lethbridge economists practise this sort of 20th century alchemy to analyze the economy of the city. Other people might get the uncomfortable feeling of water being added to stretch the soup as they watch a payroll spread throughout the city but not the economists. "As money passes from person to person in a local economy, the effect of an initial expenditure or income is multiplied." says Bahir Bilgin, chairman of the U of L economics department. "A similar multiplying effect exists with regard to the number of jobs created by an employer. First, the employer creates a given number of direct jobs. Then, each employee creates demands for goods and services City's major employers 3. 4. Employer Hospitals and public nursing home 2 Federal government Schools Provincial government 5. City of Lethbridge 6 University of Lethbridge 7 Wickes Canada Ltd. 9 Western Canadian Seed Processors Ltd 9. Pre-Built Industries Ltd 10. GTE Automatic Electric Canada Ltd. 11 Lethbridge Community College 12 Canada Packers Ltd. 13. Ducan Industries Ltd. 14. Bendix Homes Ltd 15 Sicks Lethbridge Brewery 16 Simpson Sears 17. Safeway Stores 18 Woolco 19 The Herald 20. Canadian Dressed Meats Ltd 21. Swift Canadian Co Ltd 22 Eaton's Number of employees 846 700 (estimated) 681 600 (Civil Service Association) 500 (plus 250 part-time) 390 300 230 230 200 190 (plus 73 part-time) 190 181 180 160 155 158 150 129 112 IMHesU 100 Annual payroll million (estimated) million million (esU million million million million million f 1.0 million 9 million million million million million million 0 million million