Referendum Set on Borrowing Plans
Prince George, B.C.- Council for the City of Prince George has set the wheels in motion for a referendum to be held this fall.
At issue, is the desire to borrow $35 million dollars to build a new Four Seasons Pool, and a further $15 million to build a new Fire Hall Number One.
Both loans would be spread over 20 years.
The annual debt servicing costs for the pool project would be about $2,352,550 while the annual debt servicing costs for the Fire Hall $1,008,236. Director of Finance Kris Dalio says servicing the debt would add about another $69 dollars to the annual tax bill for the average home owner. He says that amount would remain in place until the debt had been paid and then would be removed.
Councillor Brian Skakun wanted to know if the referendum could be put on hold until the municipal election in late 2018. But that would run the risk of having the costs for one or both of the projects increase by the time any construction could get underway.
Councillor Jillian Merrick applauded the referendum process saying she believes it’s good practice to separate questions like this from the politics of a municipal election.
The City is planning a detailed communications plan to explain the need for the changes.
“We’ve known since we were elected that we would be dealing with major infrastructure issues” said Mayor Hall “Here we are in year two and a half dealing with these issues. We need a fire hall, we need a four seasons pool we have a aging facilities, and somewhere along the line, we need to make decisions on how we’re going to process the repair on these if that is what we choose to do or replacement. I fully support the referendum on both locations.”
The referendum is set for October 28th 2017.