With the construction of a new Public Works facility in the plan for 2020, the City of Quesnel took steps forward this week when council approved the first three readings of a temporary borrowing bylaw for funding the work.
In October 2018, a referendum was held that authorized borrowing of $8.5 million for the new Public Works Facility.
The proposed Bylaw 1884 would permit the City to draw temporary borrowing funds for this project, and the first, second and third readings of the bylaw were approved at the Feb. 4 council meeting.
The purpose of the temporary borrowing bylaw is to allow the City to draw funds from the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) as needed for the project, Kari Bolton, the City’s director of corporate and financial services, explained.
“Rather than borrowing the whole $8.5 million before it is required and having to pay interest on that full amount, smaller amounts as required are borrowed from the MFA,” she wrote in her report to council. “Near the end of the project, the full debenture debt will be taken, and all temporary loans will be paid back with the funds from the debenture debt.”
The total budget of the new Public Works facility is $13 million, and at its Jan. 7 meeting, council directed staff to award the contract for general construction to Vic Van Isle Construction.
Construction of the new facility, which will be constructed on Sword Avenue, is scheduled to begin this spring, and it is expected to be ready for occupancy in late November.
At the meeting, council also approved the City entering into a five-year Lease and Air Service Agreement with Central Mountain Air (CMA) Ltd. for the use of space at the Quesnel Regional Airport.
The previous five-year agreement expired Oct. 31, 2019, and since then, the agreement has been extended on a month-to-month basis by mutual agreement while the terms of a new agreement are negotiated.
The term of the new agreement is March 1, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2025.
With this agreement, the per-passenger fee increases from $12 to $20, which brings the Quesnel Regional Airport in parity with the Williams Lake Airport. This fee increase, which council had previously endorsed Dec. 17, comes into effect March 1.
There will also be a two-per-cent increase for each year of the agreement for lease rates for space in the terminal building and the storage facility.
As part of the agreement, the City and CMA also agree to hold an annual meeting in Quesnel between the president and/or senior staff of CMA and the mayor and/or senior City staff to discuss service levels and airport issues, said airport supervisor Jon Pucek.