Williams Lake City Council will be on the hook for $2 million dollars for road intersection improvements on Carson Drive and Toop Road in 2019.
“We’ll put it into our budget over a 3 year period. I think that we got a 4-year agreement with the province on that where we can pay. So for us, we’re going to pay cash for it,” says Councillor Scott Nelson, chair of the finance committee.
“We don’t want to borrow long-term on projects like that; we’re trying to pay cash for these projects that are coming into place.”
Nelson adds that you have to remember that in amongst all this they have tens upon tens of millions of dollars of new constructions that will roll onto the taxation where they can look to get some of the money from.
He says that the province is giving their shared cost at 0%.
“If you don’t have to pay for it why would you do it when I can put money into the roads? That’s why Council went out and said in 2017 we’ll put extra three-quarters of a million dollars in mill and fill. It only makes sense,” says Nelson.
“If the government says to you hey don’t worry about paying for this for three years and we’ll pay for it out of our capital budget, that’s a smart business decision instead of going to borrow.”
The completion of the $23.9 million dollar project that is part of Phase 2 of the Cariboo Connector Program has been revised to June 2019 due to wildfire evacuations this summer. It involves four-laning 1.5km of Highway 97 and intersection improvements at Carson Drive and Toop Road.
Additionally, improvements to McKinnon Road, 11th Avenue North, and Broadway Avenue North connections will also be made.
The project according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure as of November 2017 is 16% complete.