The upcoming referendum to potentially borrow money for a new public works building in Quesnel was the topic of a facebook live event from City Hall last night.
Officials fielded questions from media, the studio audience and those taking part on-line.
Residents will be asked during the Municipal election later this month to borrow up to 8 1/2 million dollars to build a new facility on Sword Avenue, where the old soccer fields are.
The total cost of the project is just under 11.2 million dollars.
The rest of the money will come from reserves.
One of the questions last night, fielded by City Manager Byron Johnson, asked about getting some money from senior levels of government…
“Yes, we have applied for a grant for three million dollars from the Federal Government for this project. And that grant relates to mitigating climate change impacts. This project does tick quite a few of the boxes on that grant program because the first responders, in any climate change type event or flooding event, are our public works employees. And if the facility first has to be taken care of and evacuated in the event of a flood, it puts the rest of the community at risk, so we think there is some good potential under that grant to get some funding.”
Johnson briefly reviewed a condition assessment that was done on the current public works site that basically said that it was in poor condition, and needed to be re-located due to flood plain and riparian issues.
Director of Finance Kari Bolton noted that there are currently just two options on the table, to either borrow the money or save for a new facility over the next 10 years.
She says the first option would mean a 3.2 percent tax increase, which amounts to an increase of roughly 31 dollars on a 200-thousand dollar home.
Bolton says saving the money over 10 years would require a 7.5 percent tax bump, which is the equivalent of 74 dollars per year on a home worth $200,000.