Council borrowing up to $700,000 for irrigation replacement

The city will be going to an alternate approval process to borrow up to $700,000 to replace the spray irrigation Motor Control Center.

The city will be going to an alternate approval process to borrow up to $700,000 to replace the spray irrigation Motor Control Center.

Council passed three readings of the Local Authorization Bylaw at the Monday, Oct. 6 meeting.

“This is the primary mechanism with which sewage coming from Cranbrook gets sent out to the spray irrigation facility and without this motor being operational it basically shuts down our entire system,” Mayor Wayne Stetski said. “There was a fire and the motor continued to operate during the balance of the season, of course it doesn’t operate in the winter.”

Stetski said it’s important to enlace the motor prior to the start of the next season.

“Unfortunately the cost is $700,000 to replace that motor,” he added.

Because the funding will come through the alternate approval process, the Community Charter states that elector approval is needed. Electors can state their opposition to the borrowing through a elector response form until Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m.

The city is using the most current list of Cranbrook electors, which contains 14,810 names. The number of elector responses required to prevent council from proceeding without the assent of the electors is 1,481.

The bylaw that authorizes the borrowing will also be forwarded to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval.

Coun. Warner asked whether it would be possible to take money from one of the city’s reserve funds to save on the interest, but CAO Wayne Staudt said it is not.

“If we had the reserve funds available we would have put that forth as an option,” Staudt said.

Coun. Diana J Scott noted that previously the CAO felt the city was in a good position for borrowing and asked whether he still felt that way.

“My take on this is we have to do this,” Scott said. “If we don’t do it and something happens in the spring it could be a huge catastrophe, so we definitely have to do it. I think from what I’ve heard, we’re in a good position for borrowing.”

Staudt said every municipality will only be at 40 per cent of its borrowing limit if they include the funding for the Motor Control Centre replacement.