Council looking at borrowing $10 million for roads

In order to proceed with borrowing process, council must fulfill a few requirements.

Cranbrook city council is looking at borrowing $10 million for the 2017 Capital Roads Program, however, there is an extensive approval process to go through first.

At a budget meeting on Saturday, Jan. 30th, council gave city staff the green light to begin the borrowing process, which must fulfill a few requirements, including a component for public feedback, according to Chris Zettel, the communications officer for the City of Cranbrook.

“Because it’s such a large number and it’s a long-term borrowing agreement, staff is required to go through what’s called an Alternative Approval Process (AAP),” Zettel said. “That process is laid out in the community charter.”

As part of the AAP, the city must do three things: adopt a loan authorization bylaw, obtain the approval of the Inspector of Municipalities through the province, and get elector approval.

As part of the elector approval, voters must express their opinion by signing an Elector Response Form and submitting it to the Corporate Officer before a set deadline.

For the AAP to proceed, the city must receive less than 10 per cent of Elector Response forms that are opposed to council moving forward with the borrowing proposal.

If the city receives more than 10 per cent of elector forms that oppose the borrowing action, then Council may not proceed.

The only other option to obtain approval for borrowing such a large sum would be through a municipal referendum.

“The biggest thing is we don’t want people thinking council’s just gone ahead and we’re going to borrow $10 million,” Zettel said.

More information on the AAP should be available by late spring, he added.

“So what’ll happen is later on in the spring, we’re looking probably at the end of May, early June, is we’ll have an information package that will be available to the public on our website,” said Zettel.

“It will have all the details of the AAP, all the details about the borrowing, what it’ll do, how much it’ll cost each homeowner over the life of the borrowing.”