Quesnel City Council has reaffirmed it’s decision to hold a referendum next year asking the public for permission to borrow the money needed to build a new public works facility.
The vote will coincide with the General Municipal Election on October 20th.
The idea was unanimously endorsed at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Councillor Ron Paull…
“I am fully in support this. I think waiting until another four years basically jockeys everything else down the cue. We know we are eventually going to be looking at a new fire hall for instance, and it’s not right that we postpone everything just because we’re afraid to sort of get out onto the dance floor so to speak.”
Paull went on to say that the forest industry is displaying faith in the local economy with investments, and that given the right sales job, and incorporating the reason for the move, he feels the referendum can be successful.
Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg added that there are a couple of other reasons not to delay the vote…
“Regardless of the outcome of the referendum there is greater certainty in our capital planning which we need as a city. And also if we talk about wanting to try and get Federal-Provincial grants or whatever level, if we don’t have something that is going to move forward we can’t get those applications put forward. This gives the opportunity for the community to firmly state yes or no we need to move forward with this. It’s something that we’ve been trying to move forward for at least the past, i don’t know how many years, further than just this particular Council.”
The current facility is located in a flood plain and is in need of repairs.
The estimated cost of a new facility is in the 10-million dollar range and as Mayor Bob Simpson explains, the location is not up for debate…
“Location is not part of the referendum question ! So i don’t want to have any debates about location. Yes we’ve looked at the Canfor site, yes we’ve looked at the Finning site, why did we go to Sword Road, let’s get that crystal clear in the communications.”
Having the vote on election day will save the City between 15 and 20 thousand dollars, and it is believed that there would also be a better voter turnout.