The North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee will dip into reserves to pay for a new Multipurpose Agriculture Building at Alex Fraser Park in Quesnel.

The estimated cost was originally $576,780 but it is now in the 895 thousand dollar range, mostly due to higher consulting costs.

The Committee will defer a couple of capital projects at the park and take up to 244 thousand dollars out of reserves to get the project done.

The vote was unanimous, although there was some discussion on how to pay for it.

A couple of the northern CRD Directors, including Mary Sjostrom in Area A, wanted the Regional District and the City to use their gas tax money…

“I think that was an option that Director Glassford alluded to as well and I thought if we could do a cost sharing out of that, that would have been a great idea because we do have that pool project coming and I always am a believer that we should keep reserves.”

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson noted however, that the city’s gas tax money is already spoken for…

“If they want to look at using the CRD’s gas tax funds to help with the Alex Fraser Park building, that would be awesome, it would reduce the burden to all of our ratepayers from using our reserves. But the city plans five years for how we’re going to use our gas tax funds and they’re oversubscribed, we could use double the gas tax funds to try and do what we need to do, that benefits all residents in the region, not just the city residents.”

Simpson says playgrounds, the tennis courts funded and a lot of the incremental improvements around the West Fraser Centre are just a few examples.

In the end, the committee decided to dip into reserves to complete the project.

Most of it will still be paid for with grants, including 500 thousand dollars from the Rural Dividend Fund, and 30 thousand from the Northern Development Initiative Trust.