City of Armstrong against borrowing cash

Armstrong has money to pay its share of proposed fire hall expansion...

The City of Armstrong is not in favour of a referendum to pay for an expansion to the Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Hall.

The city rejected a motion put forward out of a joint meeting with the Township of Spallumcheen that recommends “that 2013 joint fire department five-year financial plan be amended by deferring the capital improvements to the joint fire hall to the year 2014 pending consideration being given to fund said capital improvements by long-term debt as authorized by a referendum.”

Armstrong defeated the motion, then passed a motion that removed the final part of the original wording regarding referendum. The city will defer the matter to 2014.

“The only reason to go to referendum is to go for money and we don’t need to that,” said Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper. “We’re in favour of going ahead and getting it (expansion) done and that includes all the renovations.”

Pieper said the city has the ability to pay for its share of the proposed expansion, which includes enlarging the bays and renovations inside the hall.

The township has said they support only an extension of the bays but would go for the entire expansion if grant money was found.

Spallumcheen has yet to discuss the 13 recommendations made at the joint council meeting.

“As a council, we are prepared to go ahead,” said Pieper. “We don’t have to go to referendum, but if everybody wants to go to referendum, we probably would go.”

The city passed all of the other recommendations, including removing the proposed outdoor arena at the Nor-Val Sports Centre from budget deliberations, pending submission and approval of a business plan.

“We want to see the plan, analysis and see what the arena is going to cost,” said Pieper. “Mostly the capital and operating costs, and use, that kind of stuff. It’ll come back to budget deliberations next year.”

Both the city and township have expressed interest in working with Armstrong Spallumcheen Parks and Recreation to build an outdoor rink using the existing ice plant at the Nor-Val Centre.

Such a move would alleviate ice time issues at Nor-Val.