City of Powell River council to establish borrowing for liquid waste plant

Local taxpayers will have to pay 26.67 per cent of the cost if grant approval is given

City of Powell River wants authorization to borrow up to $27,280,000 for the proposed liquid waste treatment plant.

At the Thursday, April 4, council meeting, councillor Jim Palm said the city has a grant in play with the federal government to the tune of 73.33 per cent of the total cost. If approved that will leave 26.67 per cent of the cost to be paid by local taxpayers.

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Palm said the city is hoping to hear about the status of its grant application by this summer.

“Hopefully that announcement will come out and we’ll see what the City of Powell River receives,” said Palm. “In terms of the dollars, the total project cost we have committed to that grant application comes to $79,800,000. Of this amount, $76 million is eligible for grant funding, resulting in a maximum grant amount of $55.7 million, leaving the city to fund the remaining $24 million.”

Palm said the city is going to ask for the largest amount to ensure that it covers all costs associated with building the new facility, so the total the city is asking to borrow is $27,280,000.

Chief financial officer Adam Langenmaier said the main reason why the city is asking for the higher amount is it was the maximum authorized under the liquid waste management plan.

“In the event that we have cost overruns, hopefully very unlikely, we don’t want to have to go to additional bylaws to secure funding, as it takes time to secure additional funding,” said Langenmaier. “This could result in delays in construction or payment to suppliers.”

According to a report to council, Langenmaier stated the city does not 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, Langenmaier is recommending a 30-year repayment period to be used.

Council carried the motion that City of Powell River Liquid Waste Treatment Plant Loan Authorization Bylaw 2551, 2019 be read a first, second and third time, and be referred to the inspector of municipalities for approval.

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