Coldstream to vote on borrowing funds

Coldstream borrowing referendum concerns councillors

It’s not a question of whether Coldstream taxpayers want a new municipal mechanic shop – it’s if they want to borrow the money for it.

When Coldstream voters head to the polls in November to elect their representatives, they will also be faced with a $1.35 million borrowing referendum.

The funds are to be used to construct a new mechanic shop in the public works yard off of Aberdeen Road.

Residents will face a 2.67 per cent tax increase if they agree to borrow the funds. If the referendum is unsuccessful, the project will still go ahead and taxpayers will likely face a tax increase of nearly eight per cent.

But objection has surfaced among a couple of councillors over the project.

“We need to improve this building for health and work safety,” said Coun. Bill Firman. “But I have never seen evidence before this council.”

Operational health and safety regulations are a concern with the aging structure, as well as contamination to the creek from runoff.

Meanwhile Coun. Maria Besso suggests the current location of the public works yard doesn’t fit in with Coldstream’s plans to develop a town centre.

“I’m not convinced that we as council have had all the discussions necessary,” said Besso.

“I just think that’s not a good use of the land. It’s like painting a wall, you have the ladder up and you’re painting away and then realizing you’ve painted the wrong wall.”

An open house for the mechanic shop referendum is in the works.