City council took care of some housekeeping business last week by voting to authorize the borrowing of $10 million for the 2017 Capital Roads Program that was approved by residents last fall.
The bylaw — the 2017 Capital Road Program Temporary Borrowing Bylaw — means that the city will internally fund the project until the city can secure financing through the Municipal Finance Authority in the spring of 2018.
The MFA financing program carries a much more favourable interest rate for borrowing, but only have intakes in the spring and the fall, according to a staff report.
“The Municipal Finance Authority of BC has an interim financing program in place to accommodate temporary boring at prime less approximately 1.35 per cent,” reads the report. “The city’s bank line of credit borrowing rate is prime, which is currently 2.7 per cent.
“It would be prudent to have the documentation in place such that temporary borrowing could be put into effect in a timely manner if and when required.”
The report also notes that the loan draw down will not be processed unless the city’s revenue anticipation borrowing bylaw limit is jeopardized or if the MFA of BC financing terms are more favourable than what the internal funding can provide.
Charlotte Osbourne, Director of Finance and Computer Services, clarified the situation upon questioning from Councillor Tom Shypitka.
“So while the road program is ongoing, we wouldn’t be able to access the borrowing that we went to the public for until spring 2018,” Osbourne said, “and it would be too early in the fall of 2017, so this is a tool that we use for large projects like this to straddle so that we can get the actual borrowing that becomes the 20-year borrowing that we went to the public for.”
The 2017 Capital Roads program is well underway, with construction currently taking place on roads throughout the city.
According to an administration update, repaving is complete, or soon to be completed, on:
• Industrial Road 3
• 21st Ave South — to 7th St to the end
• 17th Ave South — 3rd St. to 4th St.
• Brook view Crescent and 7th St. South
Projects that are set to start in July include:
• College Way
• 7th St. South — 27th to 24th Ave.
• Summit Place
A second repaving contract was awarded earlier in June, with a substantial completion date in the middle of September. Those projects include:
• 24th Ave – 2nd St. North to 2nd St. South
• Mount Connell Crescent
• 18th & 19th Ave – South of 10th St. South
• 16th Ave South Cul-de-sac (South of 10th St. South)
• Edgewood Drive
That contract also includes three optional projects for repaving if there is time and budgetary freedom to do so.
Significant progress is underway at Anderson Crescent, with overhead water service installed, 50 per cent water main installed and 15 per cent sewer main installed.
Contractors are also busy ripping up 2nd St. South and have removed asphalt, relocated the gas main, and are currently constructing the sewer and water mains.
Three more side street water and road projects will go to tender at the end of June.
So far, the city has awarded $8.3 million in contracts with a total budget of $14.8 million. The city says that all projects have been awarded at or under budget and that the budget is likely to enough to complete all projects, including optional ones, if there aren’t any unforeseen challenges or emergency priorities.
Any surplus will be shifted into the 2018 Capital Works program that will be eyeing emerging priorities such as Cobham Avenue and storm sewer system upgrades.