Residents will vote on works yard funds

A pitch is being made to sell a $1.335 million project to Coldstream voters.

A pitch is being made to sell a $1.335 million project to Coldstream voters.

In conjunction with the municipal election on Nov. 19, residents will be asked if they are in favour of borrowing the necessary funds to upgrade the public works yard. Work includes environmental improvements, work safety compliance, works yard site improvements and construction of a new mechanics shop.

“I think this is going to require a good sales pitch because it’s a lot of money and times are tough,” said Coun. Pat Cochrane.

So before taxpayers head to the polls, the District of Coldstream is doing what it can to sell the project to the voters.

An open house outlining details and the necessity for the project will be held at the municipal hall Oct. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m.

“The open house is to show the public what it’s all about, rather than just asking the question at the referendum,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

The district has deemed the work necessary due to environmental and WorkSafe B.C. concerns.

“At the very least, a good portion of the work has to be done no matter what,” said Cochrane.

Therefore if the referendum fails, some of the work will be required to go ahead, but funds will have to be found elsewhere and that could mean an increase in taxes to facilitate the costs.

A staff report from July states: “…a successful outcome to the referendum will mean a tax increase of approximately 2.67 per cent while an unsuccessful outcome will mean a tax increase of approximately 7.97 per cent.”

Council would rather get consent from voters to borrow the necessary funds, rather than increase taxes.

“An option for the citizens of Coldstream that may be more beneficial is being proposed here,” said Coun. Richard Enns. “This is the tool we would like to use.”

The district is also working on a double-sided flyer about the project, to be distributed to the community.

Coun. Bill Firman is the lone member of council opposed to the project.