With uncertainty about the future as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds the Cariboo Regional District board approved an anticipation borrowing bylaw at its last board meeting.
“This virus is impacting government operations at all levels and the economy in general,” chief financial officer Kevin Erickson told the board during the teleconference meeting March 27.
”We are not in a position that we need to borrow anything right now, but my concern is if the province cannot make payments in August.”
While the CRD is maintaining many of its operations, certain services have been ‘idled’ or significantly reduced, he noted.
“In order to deal with unknown circumstances that may arise from the COVID-19 pandemic the board is being asked to approve a Revenue Anticipation Bylaw allowing short-term borrowing of up to half the 2020 requisition amount of $ 13,000,000.00.
Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson said the situation warranted a due diligence measure and proposed a letter to ministers asking whether tax deferral will be allowed.
Area D director Steve Forseth echoed Simpson adding, “we need clarity in terms of local government financing.”
Al Richmond, Area G director, also vice-chair of the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) encouraged staff to contact the MFA to let them know the board passed the borrowing bylaw.
“Some regional districts and local governments are making the same kind of anticipation borrowing bylaw that we just passed,” Richmond said.
“Many local governments do that every year to get them through until tax revenue comes through in August, ours is just in case we don’t get that money in August,” he told the Tribune.