City of Powell River Council approves borrowing bylaw for liquid waste treatment plant

Councillors and mayor await word from provincial and federal governments on grants

City of Powell River Council has passed its liquid waste treatment plan loan authorization bylaw, which authorizes borrowing of up to $27.28 million.

At the city council meeting on Thursday, June 20, councillor George Doubt said the loan authorization bylaw provides the city’s portion of the funds required to build the liquid waste treatment plant, should grants come through from federal and provincial governments.

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According to the bylaw the estimated cost of constructing the liquid waste treatment plant, including expenses, is $70 million. Given the federal and provincial cost-sharing in the infrastructure grant process, where up to 73 per cent of the cost would be covered, the share for City of Powell River taxpayers would be $27.28 million. The city is still awaiting approval from the provincial and federal governments.

The borrowing authority to implement the liquid waste management plan does not require the approval of electors, so there will be no referendum process.

The borrowing bylaw received approval from the inspector of municipalities on May 31, 2019.

Mayor Dave Formosa said if the city does not receive provincial and federal government funding, the city cannot build the liquid waste treatment facility.

“We don’t have the $70 million,” said Formosa. “It’s going to be strenuous enough at these numbers. We’re betting, we’re hopeful and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this next round of funding is going to provide us what we need.”

If not, the city will be at the next intake of grant funding, said Formosa.

Chief financial officer Adam Langenmaier stated at the April 4 city council meeting that the city does not need to have to borrow all of the approved funds. It only needs to borrow what is required to complete the project.

Due to the projected size of the loan, a 30-year repayment period was recommended.

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