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October 27, 2017 6:48 pm

Door Opened for Library Entrance Project

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 6:01 AM

New entrance project – image courtesy City of Prince George

Prince George, B.C. –   The  Bob Harkins Library  entrance project  has been pegged  at $2.47 million dollars,  and while Administration preferred borrowing the money from the Municipal Finance  Authority  over 20 years, but  internal debt funding was the one Council chose.

Councillor Terri McConnachie   opted for the idea of  internal debt funding  because  it could be implemented  sooner  than   through the  Municipal Finance Authority.

The City’s endowment reserve, which  ensures the City has cash  flow until taxes are collected,  has a balance of about $25 million dollars.   That reserve is healthy says  City Manager Kathleen Soltis, and  a project of this  size would not jeopardize the fund.

A lower  interest rate  by borrowing  from the endowment reserve, means a savings of about a million dollars over the length of the term.  And since  the City would be borrowing from itself,  there is no need  to go to the electorate for approval,  so  no referendum,  no alternate approval process.

“Once the hotel (Marriott Courtyard) is completed, we are going to see a completion of Canada Games Plaza ”  said Mayor  Lyn Hall,   who said the area will be a “hub”  for entertainment and events.


borrowing from itself…. you mean.. spending our tax dollar…

My question is.. have they put this job our for bids ? Do they use the same protocol we do where I work, need 3 quotes.. then decide or do they just give the job to friends etc ? How did they come up with 2.47 mil?

So you are borrowing money from yourself..then charging yourself interest.. ???? and we get to pay for this ???

The city does what they want with our tax dollars. No matter how nice the downtown area becomes or how much money is spent, it is not a safe area to wander around alone after dark.


      You wander around in the rark downtown? Ever been up on connaught hill after dark? I think manofsteel is talking about on foot not driving around in a car, I was suprised on the number of sleeping bags I tripped over up in the closed park last summer/fall and the sheer number of people panhandling even at 3 inthe morning. Aggressive panhandling, not just the do you have change kind

A Library used to be essential a long time ago, now it is more of a white elephant.

    I suppose you have not spent much time in the local Libraries these days. If you had, your senses would likely have picked up on the large number of people making use of and enjoying the services and resources within.

    If you have not spent much time within the local Libraries, that is fine, but please dont imply that the residents of our city wish it gone.

My question is: Did the councillor who is sitting on the library board abstain from the vote regarding spending 2.5 million tax dollars for the library? If she voted on the spend, I think it is a direct conflict of interest.

Once again, nothing but negative BS in the comments. Surely all of you must have something better to do.

    Yeah, I could work even more to pay even more tax for wishlist projects. The city can’t keep their tax increase under inflation, so their budgets should only include must do, not would like to do, expenditures. Retired people, of which there are more in this city every day, can’t increase their income as the same rate the city likes to increase taxes. So that’s why we complain, because someone is taking money we don’t have out of our pockets – by force. Don’t pay taxes, lose your house. That’s force.

    It’s not a negative BS comment. I don’t know about you but I expect integrity, respect and transparency when tax dollars are spent. It’s as much for their protection as it is for ours. If you are a sitting board member of the library and you are a councillor, I believe that you should step away from the vote. Certainly provide your input into the open public discussion but abstain from the vote. I’m not against the project. I’m not against the city spending money. I also support anyone in this town who is involved in the many boards present in the city. I have sat on some of them and have had many discussions regarding when a vote is in conflict, when a decision is governance or operational and when a board member should not vote.

    So you agree with the city lending itself our tax dollars then using our tax dollars to pay the interest on the ,pan of our money to ourselves? Okay which city councilor are you?

I like the borrowing from ourselves line.

Look, if you had 2.5 million surplus funds, you could also pay down debt that we are currently paying interest on. So don’t kid yourselves, whatever the highest interest rate of debt the city is currently paying, is the interest rate you use. I.E. if they’ve got a loan out that at 3.5% that can be paid off without penalty, that’s what this loan costs.

This is like me having $50,000 in the bank, and owing $50,000 on my visa card(s), and buying a new truck and saying – I paid cash. No, I borrowed at 18%.

And Palapou had some real good points yesterday. With technological advancements will there even be library’s in 10 years.

Ah, there’s no easier money to spend than someone elses.

And just a thought, with a 3 hour parking limit, these hub events you have better not run too long if during the week.

    Let me get this straight, you have an account you lend yourself money on? If you had 50 thousand in the bank you would borrow the money from yourself and pay it back in instalments with interest to put the money back into the second account?

    or in other words you set up accounts by where the money is to go, say mortgage, utilities, food and entertainment. If you need 50 bucks more one day for food you would write yourself a contract to borrow it from entertainment and then pay it back monthly with interest? Would mean the next month you had less money to put into the mortgage, utilities, food and entertainment funds so you would go to where your money comes from and say I need another 5 bucks a month to cover my bills because I can no longer pay my mortgage and utilities because I made a loan to myself that I have to pay back so now I am short and cannot put the money I need into my mortgage, utilities, food and entertainment accounts this month?

    In this case the city would owe itself – thus needs the money to cover the loan to itself that would come from the taxpayer in the form of higher property tax, although the money in the fund initially came from the taxpayer in the form of a tax. So in esscense the taxpayer is paying more annually to cover interest and principle on its own taxes that were put away into a separate fund?

This is unusual but then i guess i am strange , I go there to get reading material not look at the building , Stop wasting my money.

    The issue is that the building is not (readily) wheel chair accessible; that’s why they’re looking to redo the entrance. Do they need to spend that much money on it? No, they don’t. But, the taxpayers are a captive audience.

CnC, the university all have good wheelchair accessible libraries.. and a heck of a lot more technically advanced than the old grey concrete dinosaur… wonder what it costs a year to heat that beast?

I’m undecided on this project and would like to see the business case that justifies this project

Please and thanks

I would have thought maybe reconfigure the parking lot to make that entrance a little more safe. Maybe borrow the paint from the bike lane project.

That said I think we have a great library for a city the size of PG. I think it’s an iconic building and a fantastic design considering its location in a flood plane area. I would have thought an entrance redesign should have been done in conjunction with the hotel development. Maybe have both hotels and the art gallery sharing a common promenade above street level.

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