The deadline for submitting elector response forms for the city’s proposed $10 million loan for road infrastructure upgrade passed on Monday afternoon.
The AAP process, which began earlier this year in February, will allow the city to borrow the money — which will go towards fixing Cranbrook roads and underlying infrastructure — and pay it off over a 20-year period.
Public opposition to the proposal was voiced through elector response forms; if less than 10 per cent of eligible Cranbrook voters sign a response form and submit it to city hall, the proposal moves forward. If more than 10 per cent of Cranbrook voters sign the form opposing the proposal, the borrowing will not happen.
Now that the deadline has passed, the city will tally all the elector response forms and a report will be forwarded to city council, either at the Nov. 7 or Nov. 21 regular meetings, where the results will be made public.
From there, there are two options.
If less than 10 per cent of eligible voters sign elector response forms, the plan moves forward and council can adopt the bylaw, which will go to the provincial government for approval.
If more than 10 per cent of eligible voters sign elector response forms, council can either abandon the proposal or move to a referendum, which Mayor Lee Pratt has warned he will pursue.
A campaign against the plan to borrow the money was led by Wendell Dalke, who argued that it would create an unnecessary tax burden for local residents for years to come.
According to the city, the plan would mean small increases to residential and business taxes.
For residential, there would be a $16 increase per $100,000 in assessed value, along with a flat $15 increase to utility parcel taxes. For business, there would be a$41 increase per $100,000 in assessed value, along with the same $15 increase to utility parcel taxes.
Pratt argued at a press conference that the increase in taxes, for a house assessed at $300,000, amounts to a $63 increase, or $5.25 per month.
The city wishes to use the $10 million to beef up their 2017 capital roads program, with the rehabilitation of 2nd St. South being a major project budgeted between $6-$7 million.
The project is expected to take two years to complete, and includes a full reconstruction of 2nd St. South from Highway 3/95 through to 10th Ave. South with repaving from 10th Ave. South through to 14th Ave. South.